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Dry Mouth

Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2004

My wife had radiation on her neck and throat . This radiation caused her to have a defective saliva gland and now she had a dry mouth . She is using Salagen and dry mouth gum and special tooth paste .Her dry mouth is still with her .Her dentist says that she will loose her teeth and because of her dry mouth he will not be able to make any dentures that will work .Has anyone had this problem and did they find dentures that work ? Thank you spacerbill

laurena's picture
Posts: 16
Joined: Apr 2004

hi there spacerbill, don't believe everything your doctor tells you. I survived this 11 years with a bone dry mouth. Hard yes, but I still have most of my teeth. Lost two molars because I couldn't open my mouth far enough to fix them. that's key, practice opening your mouth wide, everyday. brush after EVERY MEAL and at night. use floride etc etc.How old is yur wife?? Let me know if you have more questions. Laurena

Posts: 11
Joined: Apr 2002

My partner had surgery, radiation, and chemo for parotid cancer and had saliva glands removed three years ago. He also uses Salagen and special tooth paste. His dentist made him prosthesis to align his mouth and he does stretching exercises constantly with an E-Z Flex jaw exerciser (you can find it on line). To date he has not lost any teeth. A fellow dry mouth sufferer told him about sour apple hard sucking candies, apparently they really help in saliva production and he highly recommends them. Perhaps you could find a dentist that is more familiar with some of her problems. Good luckand don

Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2004

Hi spacerbill,
I had radiation therapy two years ago for head and neck cancer. I, like her, still use Salagen. I don't use the toothpaste and mouthwash as much any more. What I did find that helped me more than anything is accupunture. I did not bring back all of my salvia but I only went to eight treatments and plan on doing them again in the future. My doctors even talk about how much more saliva I have than their other patients. Actually my ENT started recommending it to his other cancer patients. Hope this helps and let me know how it goes and if I can help in any way. Shirley

Posts: 5
Joined: Mar 2004

I am in exactly the same boat. It is getting better as time goes by. She may lose her teeth, nothing is for sure. It is all wait and see. All we can do is be more attentive to our teeth and go on. Also I chase my food with milk and drink room temp water my throat feels better. I drink beverages without ice. Would love to hear from you or her my e-mail is Dharmanature@comcast.net it's a capital "D" in Dharmanature.

Posts: 5
Joined: Mar 2004

I am currently being treated for nasopharygeal tumor Stage 3. I have 40 radiation treatments and 2 chemo. I have already had both chemo and now have 18 radiation treatments in front of me. Are you still in treatment or recovering? I have many more questions to ask you if you are willing. Getting through thios cancer day to day is an unbelievable struggle, even with full support of family and friends.I would appreciate hearing from you or any one else with head and neck cancer. I need tips on the day to day things. Thank you so much for your replies in advance. Linda

Posts: 4
Joined: Dec 2003

My husband had 35 radiation treatments, 6 Cisplatin and three 5Fu chemos. His CT scan last week showed no new growth, plus the bone in the middle of his head is growing back - the tumor had destroyed it. However, the road back is going to be very long. He is never without his water bottle due to the dry mouth. He is just now having "real" food - nothing crunchy. Instant breakfast has been his salvation of late - Ensure and Boost are okay but the soy was starting to upset his stomach - the last thing a cancer patient needs - more nausea! He also has neuropathy in his hands and feet. We've been told that may resolve itself in about 2-3 months. If you have specific questions - I have a pile of answers these days!

Posts: 288
Joined: May 2003

Dear spacerbill, I also had radiation on my head and neck which damaged my salivary glands and I have dry mouth. With good dental care your wife may not lose her teeth. She needs teeth cleaning every three months and special toothpaste. There is a dental gum that helps produce saliva when you chew it and also something to put on your tongue to help with dryness (don't remember name). My dentist has experience working with cancer patients and has never said I cannot have dentures. In his opinion dentures will be a last resource. Excellent teeth hygiene will help teeth.

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