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Dry mouth

CherieLW's picture
CherieLW
Posts: 395
Joined: May 2013

Hey everyone,

My dad is going to treatment today and going to mention to the docs that his mouth is starting to feel slightly dry.  Is there anything you can recommend that worked for you?  I just want to get some ideas that I can mention to dad.  He's been staying pretty hydrated so far, but didn't know if there was a tip or trick to improve dry mouth. 

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

MarineE5
Posts: 744
Joined: Dec 2005

CherieLW,

The combination of solutions for dry mouth are many. The Dry Mouth will be a problem during treatments and afterwards. What I type here are the things that I did while going thru treatment and after. Others will post what worked or didn't work for them. This is one hurdle we all face.

It was suggested to me by my Nurses to make a combination of 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of baking soda in 1 quart of room temperature water. I would sip, rinse, gargle, and spit this as often as needed to take any edge off of the discomfort that I might have at that time. I increased this solution to 1 Tablespoon of each in the later weeks of radiation. I also used the Bioteen Dry mouth spray during the day to coat my mouth as I had no saliva at all. Today, I still have no saliva, but continue to use the Dry Mouth Spray. I also would sip during the day, cups of coffee with half and half in it, the half and half seemed to put a small coating in my mouth and throat for a spell.

Your Dad will need to try different things for now to coat his mouth during the day and night. Biotene mouthwash helps also just before bed. Unfortunately, this is not a cure all and also hopefully his saliva returns shortly after treatments are completed. Things have improved since I had my radiation for the better as I continue to read many here getting their saliva back quickly. Although water is good for us, it at times doesn't do the job of solving the dry mouth feeling and we just need a coating of something to carry us thru this.

My Best to Both of You and Everyone Here

CherieLW's picture
CherieLW
Posts: 395
Joined: May 2013

MarineE5,

Thank you for the tips.  I appreciate it as I feel like this is the only way I can help dad through trtments.  How long ago was it you had to go through treatments?  I hope that you are feeling better!  

Best wishes to you also! 

Cherie

MarineE5
Posts: 744
Joined: Dec 2005

Cherie,

To answer your question about how long ago it was that I went thru treatments, the answer is roughly 8 3/4 yrs ago. I had the IMRT radiation and did not receive any suggestions for saving my saliva. Since my Rad's, I have read on here of other patients being offered med's to help with that problem. Also, since my Rad's the machinery has improved to be more percise on the targeted areas.

You have to forgive me on forgetting the name of a certain lollipop that has some Med's in them to ease the discomfort of the sores in the mouth and throat if they develope during your Dad's treatments. I am sure someone here knows that name of them and will reply. I did not use them as I was unaware of them during my treatments.

My Best to You, Your Dad and Everyone Here

CherieLW's picture
CherieLW
Posts: 395
Joined: May 2013

MarineE5,

Wow, glad to see you are way past treatments!  Are you feeling back to normal?  It's a shame that they didn't have things to help soothe your side effects 8  years ago.  My mothers best friend had brain cancer and I noticed that there was not much they could do for her symptoms (about ten years ago) either.  I'll look into the lollipops, thanks for the advice!

Best to you as well! 

 

Cherie

KTeacher
Posts: 874
Joined: Jan 2011

Please check the Superthread.  I am sure that others will reply.  I drank water but it didn't quinch the 'thirst.'  Biotene pproducts did't work for me, I do use their toothpaste because it is not strong mint flavor, the others burn.  Some people order Stoppers 4 and have good luck for the night time.  Some people suck on sugar free hard candy or chew sugar free gum.  I use a lot of Aquafor because my lips are always dry.  Enough saliva has come back that I do not need to continually drink water to wet my whistle, oh, I can't whistle!

CherieLW's picture
CherieLW
Posts: 395
Joined: May 2013

KTeacher,

How long has it been since you finished trtment?  I hope you are doing well. I also heard from others that sugar free candy (hard ones) work well so I will keep this in mind as well as checking out the Superthread.

Best of luck to you!

Cherie

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8052
Joined: Sep 2009

To MarineE5...

Biotene Products, Stoppers4..., and my swish and spit was Hydorgen Peroxide/Baking Soda mix in a little water...

Unfortunately, there isn't a lot that will work, and eventually even water will taste like sweat..., or maybe dirty soaked sock water...

A few have experimented around with various gums and hard candies...

Like most everything else, this to will pass with time.

JG

fishmanpa's picture
fishmanpa
Posts: 1098
Joined: Jan 2013

I had the issue of water tasting like "dirty soaked sockwater" as John so eloquently described. I believe it's a reaction to the chemicals in the water. I didn't have that issue with bottled water so we went and purchased a filter for the faucet. That took care of the issue for me.

"T"

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8052
Joined: Sep 2009

LOL, once I washed my socks regularly, it cleared the water right up for me also..., LOL.

hwt's picture
hwt
Posts: 1821
Joined: Jun 2012

Water had a salty taste to me which was better than metallic or dirty socks. Biotine did not work for me. I did and still do use Aquaphor on my lips. Salese and Xylimelts are a couple of options. With the Xylimelts, they will send you a sample from the company for $5 shipping and you can see if they work before investing. They can put a man on the moon but can't fix dry mouth...go figure

CherieLW's picture
CherieLW
Posts: 395
Joined: May 2013

Candi,

I know right!  I figured by 2013 they would be able to do much more for ppl suffering through these side effects!  Ohh vey... thanks for the tips.  I'm not sure what the Xylimelts are, but I will look into those!

Thanks again!

Cherie

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8052
Joined: Sep 2009

Hell, I'm just glad there are so many survivors... Yes, we do come with some long term damage, but still....much better than the alternative, LOL...

JG

CherieLW's picture
CherieLW
Posts: 395
Joined: May 2013

John, AMEN! I am glad that there are so many survivors as well!  Sorry if that came off wrong! I have a tendency to do that every now and then!

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8052
Joined: Sep 2009

I was just teasing.....

We can be a tough crowd sometimes, LOL...

JG

janetluvsron's picture
janetluvsron
Posts: 108
Joined: May 2013

cherie,

I went to walgreens .com and you can get them there, they are little discs they put in their mouth , they can give them a few hours of sleep

with the dry mouth. At least that is what others have said. I ordered them for ron and they came pretty fast by mail.

He hasnt used them yet but we have them on hand along with stoppers 4 that Phrannie recommended.

How is your dad?

Ron having hard time, just finished 1st week today. fatigue and nausea has started now. so he is out on disbility.

take care,

janet

CherieLW's picture
CherieLW
Posts: 395
Joined: May 2013

Janet,

Thanks, Dad is doing ok so far.  He is wrapping up his 2nd week... no nausea really, just slight dry mouth, little sore throat, and things are starting to taste "funny" he says...Hope that dad continues on this path!

Sorry Ron has had such a tough first week. I hate hearing that... I'll be praying that the rest of his treatments take it easier on him.  Tell him hang in there.  He will be surprised how fast these will be done.  I know I'm counting down dad's!  I've been keeping up with your posts and will continue to do so.   

I'll continue to pray for you and Ron both and keeping you in my thoughts!

Cherie

janetluvsron's picture
janetluvsron
Posts: 108
Joined: May 2013

thankyou cherie, and I had left out the word xylimelts for the mouth discs.

tough road our loved ones have , we will all get thru it.

god bless

janet

CherieLW's picture
CherieLW
Posts: 395
Joined: May 2013

Glad to hear bottled water wasn't so bad, maybe I'll mention that to dad too.  Thanks T!  Hope you all are having a good day. 

CherieLW's picture
CherieLW
Posts: 395
Joined: May 2013

Thanks again John.  I can't imagine what it would be like to not enjoy food or drinks.  I hope that all that are struggling with this get their taste back quickly!

Thank goodness it will pass with time, sooner the better!

CivilMatt's picture
CivilMatt
Posts: 2803
Joined: May 2012

Cherie,

I tell you it is like no dry mouth you can imagine, dry, dry, dry and too much water seems to exacerbate the dryness.

All the suggestion above are good, I am currently in the Xylimelt club and did not join till after treatments. As Marine mentioned, you have to find what works for your Dad, we are all kind of hit and miss with our solutions. Example, I only drink pure Oregon water and it never tasted salty or like old sweat socks; then again I could not taste.

No more parched H&N members.

Matt

donfoo's picture
donfoo
Posts: 1144
Joined: Dec 2012

Matt,

I guess you are not kidding about pure Oregon water. It triggered another theory I am chasing down and that has to do with water. Plain water for me often times stings my tonue. You know the story about how sensitive my tongue is so I now use a light mix of muscle milk as my daily "sipping" liquid. Actually better than plain water as I get a little protein boost, making protein ingestion for me a 24/7 event.

It got me thinking how much reaction to the water may be based on acitity so I got a pack of ph test strips from my neighbor who owns a bio lab. The tap water which is high quality is alkaline so not too sure if that makes the difference. I bougth some special bottle water named +essentia that is marketed as a super hydrating water and has a ph pf 9.5. It goes down fine. Just curious if this has come up before and what general ph levels of liquids do most feel comfortable.

Parallel to this topic is the one about using some fresh lemon juice in the water and that actually has the effect of raising ph, and then making lemon water more easy on the pallet, make any sense?

alligatorpointer's picture
alligatorpointer
Posts: 130
Joined: Jul 2012

Don,  I like the idea of your water theory and experiments.  My son drank a bottled water called "Smart Water" by Glaceau which the bottle label says is "vapor distilled water and electrolytes (calcium chloride , magnesium chloride, and potassium bicarbonate for taste)".  It is a very clean tasting water that I also enjoy.  It is convenient to buy since it is found in most grocery stores.  I am wondering how it compares in your ph experiments. 

CherieLW's picture
CherieLW
Posts: 395
Joined: May 2013

Matt,

I know everyone is different, just thought you all would be the best to get suggestions from.  So far, some of the suggestions on this board have been great and helped prepare dad and the family for what's to come.

Amen- no more dry mouth!

AngelaLewis415
Posts: 9
Joined: May 2013

Where do you get this from? Is there a website?

 

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8052
Joined: Sep 2009

Not to be funny Angela, but I think any purified or spring water they sale will work... Your father might have to try a few to find one that helps... Myself I didn't like Dasani as it just had something that didn't help for me...

But your father is at a point or near, where a bottle of water is going to be in his grasp 24/7 for awhile.

JG

Duggie88's picture
Duggie88
Posts: 515
Joined: Feb 2010

Bottled water worked for me. It was like growing up leaving the house and Mom would say "where's your belt get back there and put a belt on your leaving the house half dressed". During radiation I had bottled water (and a belt) with me at all times. The Biotene for me wasn't worth the money because it did the same as water, a short term temporary fix. But it does work for some which takes us back to our lived by theory, you have to find what works for you.

I am sitting here scratching my head wondering how "T" and John know how sock water tasted in the first place. Mom threatened me with soap but never sock water. I'm thinking sock water with a Jameson chaser. It may not help but it certainly ain't going to hurt.

Enjoy the day

      Jeff

CherieLW's picture
CherieLW
Posts: 395
Joined: May 2013

Jeff,

Thanks for the advice... LOL, I'm not sure how they would know how that tasted either.  But then again, maybe we are better not being in the dark on that one ;)

CivilMatt's picture
CivilMatt
Posts: 2803
Joined: May 2012

Cherie, Angela & others,

Let me back-up and take one for the team.

The one thing I picked up from the H&N forum was drink water & swallow, drink water & swallow, so I did to the maximum allowed by physics.  Fortunately for me, even though my water tasted a bit funky, I never experienced the dreaded sweat sock or salty or metallic taste (to a high degree) that would prevent me from drinking lots and lots of water.

So, the “pure Oregon water” I mention is simple (municipal) tap water.  Because of my favorable results I give credit to it being Oregon pure, but in reality it is just the luck of the draw. 

While we are each riding the same bus, we each make stops at different side effects.   The bad part is you can’t control (100%) which side effect you get or don’t get.  So then you come here (to the H&N forum) and yell HELP, and the veterans pepper you with ideas and advice and tongue in cheek humor.

Still drinking lots of Oregon pure water.

Matt

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