Some chemotherapeutics can cause inflammation of the mucosae of the mouth, with the formation of aphthae, ulcers, bacterial and fungal infections. To resolve these inflammations the doctor will prescribe appropriate medications. It is important to maintain proper oral hygiene and to take some precautions in the choice of foods. As for oral hygiene, it is recommended to use soft bristle brushes and to rinse your mouth with water and baking soda (avoid the use of alcoholic mouthwashes).
Another option is to rinse your mouth with sunflower oil. Take a tablespoon of sunflower oil and rinse out your mouth. The oil must be passed between one tooth and another and between the tongue and teeth. If the cleansing is performed correctly, the sunflower oil will eventually turn whiteish. At that point you can expel the oil, and if necessary, rinse your mouth one last time with water to expel toxins and microbes.
As regards food, here are some useful tips:
- Consume preferably soft, very moist and low-salted foods, since they are easier to chew or swallow and cause less irritation. Choose foods like smoothies, purées, homogenized foods, puddings, yogurt, ice creams. You could make (peeled) fruit smoothies and mix them with yogurt or vegetable drinks or cook the vegetables and blend them. If severe mucositis arises, it is recommended to consume whole grains in the form of a cream (see brown rice cream).
- Drink a lot of water throughout the day If it is difficult to drink, use a drinking straw if necessary
- Be careful about the temperature of foods: avoid hot food since they can irritate the mouth or throat. It is better to eat cold, room-temperature or warm food
- Use a spoon when eating, so as to ingest smaller bites of food
- Avoid very sour, acidic or salty foods and drinks because they cause irritation (citrus fruits, fruits with small seeds, tomatoes, pickled foods)
- Avoid spices and irritating seasonings (pepper, chili, horseradish, curry, mustard, etc.)
- Avoid dry food e.g. crackers, chips, bread since they can scratch the inside of your mouth
- Avoid drinking alcohol