Mouth care

Looking after your mouth is important, especially when you have cancer. This article from Cancer Research UK covers some common mouth problems and how to cope with them.

Mouth care is needed during cancer treatment, if you’re at risk of infections, and if you’re not eating and drinking normally. Proper mouth care will keep your mouth very clean and moist. Common complaints of mouth problems from people with cancer are:

  • Dry mouth
  • Bad breath
  • Changes to taste
  • Mouth sores and infection

The article has more information about each of these problems, as well as how to prevent or treat them. You can also look at this page on Treating mouth problems, or check out this summary of general mouth care:

  • Let your doctor or specialist nurse know if your mouth is getting sore – they can prescribe medicines to help.
  • Clean your mouth and teeth gently every morning, evening and after each meal.
  • Use a soft bristled or child’s toothbrush.
  • Use alcohol free mouthwash instead if your toothpaste stings or if brushing your teeth makes you feel sick.
  • You can use dental floss gently every day (if your doctor agrees) but be careful not to harm your gums.
  • Your doctor or specialist nurse can prescribe mouthwashes containing local anaesthetic if your mouth is very sore.
  • Clean your dentures every morning, evening and after each meal.
  • Use lip balm to keep your lips moist.
  • Moisten your mouth at least every 2 hours with mouthwash or a foam if you’re not eating or drinking normally.

Cancer Advisor has a range of resources for effects of cancer treatment, but we are always looking for more content. Please join our community to leave a comment. You can also share your personal story or recommend a resource to help other people facing cancer. 

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