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What to do for Tender and Dry Mouth During Chemotherapy

Hatshepsut's picture
Posts: 340
Joined: Nov 2006

My husband finished his second chemotherapy treatment on Monday (Avastin and Camptosar). Previously (for four months) he took Xeloda. He is experiencing dry mouth and, while he doesn't seem to have a lot of sores in his mouth, his mouth is tender. I'm watching spicy foods and acidic foods in his diet now. From your experiences, do you have other suggestions?


Betsydoglover's picture
Posts: 1256
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi -

I was on Xeloda/oxaliplatin/Avastin. After about 3 cycles I developed HUGE dry mouth (no sores / tenderness by the way). This sounds bad, but the thing that I found helped the most was chewing gum (sugarless). Hadn't done that in many years, but it helped and for a few months I kept gum around.

Best wishes,

Monicaemilia's picture
Posts: 455
Joined: Nov 2006

After every chemo treatment they give us popsicles to help with the mouth sores. I also found ice water (or ice anything) seems to help.

Posts: 304
Joined: Dec 2005

Hi, I am a caregiver for my husband. He has had chemo consistently since 10/04 except for 3 months. I am also a dental hygienist. As soon as he was diagnosed I started him on Prevident 5000 Booster- it is a prescription fluoride toothpaste. It helps to strenghten your teeth which can break down easier when you have a dry mouth. It also helps to kill the bad bacteria in your mouth--something that saliva naturally does when you have it. Also -NEVER use any mouthwash with alcohol in it. I think the Biotene products are about the best you can find that are specifically for a dry mouth. They have a mouthwash, toothpaste, gum, and a saliva substitute. They are usually easy to find. All the Biotene products can give you relief and they too are anti-bacterial and replace enzymes you are missing when you don't have saliva. Please ask me any other questions you have about mouthcare. I think it is so important and it is the one area that is often ignored. So far (knock on wood) my husband has not had any mouth issues at all. The trick is to stay ahead of the mouth sores if it is possible. Okay, I will get off my soapbox, but let me know how these ideas work for you. Good luck.

johnom's picture
Posts: 86
Joined: Jul 2004

Hi. I was given ice and popsicles when I was receiving chemo and avoided the sores. At the end I was receiving boluses though, so maybe that helped also. I believe the theory is that it numbs the nerve endings or something.

nanuk's picture
Posts: 1362
Joined: Dec 2003

there are a number of Rx mouthwashes-don't remember names.. ask your doc. KEEP HYDRATED; a lot of it could be dehydration. Use a humidifier in the bedroom at night, and during the day if the indoor humidity is low..

joyceann619's picture
Posts: 33
Joined: Jul 2004

A toothpaste you may also try is available over the counter. Its called Biotin. My oncolocgy nurse suggested it. I like it because its minty but doesn't burn . And it makes my teeth feel clean.

Hatshepsut's picture
Posts: 340
Joined: Nov 2006

Thank you for all of this information. I really appreciate your taking the time to help us.


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