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Anyone Have Problems with Biting their Tongue?

paff
Posts: 4
Joined: Jan 2008

My husband had a neck dissection in September. He is one month post radiation and chemo treatments now. He has trouble with his tongue swelling, or at least having the sensation that it is swollen, and he has been biting his tongue. Of course, he has lost partial feeling also. We were just wondering if anyone else has experienced this same problem and if there are any solutions. Thanks.

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Paff: I had that problem as well, although not in a dramatic fashion (I can't be sure of the depth of your hub's problem from your description). In my case, I was advised that the surgery and the radiation, in particular, led to much swelling, and that I could expect much of it to go away. My surgery was in October of 2005, with rads and chemos following into the first month or so of 2006.

The docs were right. MOST of the swelling did go away. In the meantime, I would advise that some of this may also be due to dehydration. Since, from another of your posts, I gather that he is taking in all sustenance via his PEG tube, I would advise that he at least try to drink water, maybe roll some small chunks of ice around in his mouth, that sort of thing. I do believe that will help, in the short term with his swelling/biting, and in the long term with getting back to taking sustenance orally.

One more thing comes to mind: I was provided both a toothpaste and a mouthwash that alleviated dehydration in the oral cavity. Using these as prescribed also helps a great deal. Once again, if your husband is not already using such products, I would check with doctors first, but this is typically another important tool in reducing swelling.

There is no need to hurry it, of course, but I would suggest, with the doc's approval and if he can handle it, trying some hydration...water and ice in particular, and, of course, the toothpaste and mouthwash. I was sucking on ice while still in the hospital, incidentally.

Hope this helps...it DOES get better, so hang in there, both of you! :)

Take care.

MLC53's picture
MLC53
Posts: 109
Joined: Sep 2007

I agree with what soccerfreaks said in his post as far as trying to drink water and use ice. You can also add water to your peg tube. I always flush my peg tube with 2 oz of water before the jevity and then another 4-6 oz of water after the jevity. That way I know I am getting at least 6-8 oz of water at each feeding. Sometimes I do less if it makes me go to the bathroom too much. Hope this helps.

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