CSN Login
Members Online: 12

You are here

Tongue and Mouth Ulcers

Posts: 6
Joined: Nov 2009

I am currently going through radiation for tongue cancer (only 11 treatments left!) and I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on how to stave off mouth ulcers or how to control them.
About two weeks ago, at the end of my third week of radiation, I had an outbreak of sores. They covered 2/3 of my tongue, my lips and inside my cheeks, as well as my gums and underneath my tongue. Basically all over the lower part of my mouth. It got to a point where I couldn't talk, eat, drink or really swallow at all. It was so bad that they decided to stop my treatment for a week.
My mouth is healed right now and I just had a week of treatment, but I'm afraid that the ulcers will come back full force. Any ideas on how to stave them off? Or if they do come back, how to control them, so the don't take over my mouth?


MarineE5's picture
Posts: 907
Joined: Dec 2005


When I went thru my radiation treatments 5 years ago, I was instructed to use a solution of 1 teaspoon of Baking Soda and 1 teaspoon of Salt in 1 quart of room temperature water. Mix it up and rinse/gargle as often as you feel you need to. I allowed some of the solution to go down my throat as well to help the sores there also. This solution helped semi-numb my mouth for a short period of time.

This worked well for me at first, but as I got into the later weeks the sores got a bit bigger and more sore. I increased the dosage to 1 Tablespoon of each in the quart of water. It helped allot, but eventually had to take some pain med's the Doctor RX for me. It was called nurotin (sp). I used the pain pills for a few weeks and weaned off of them after the " Cooking Stage " after the treatments ended. We Cook for a few weeks afterwards.

Some other patients used what is known as Magic Mouthwash, I didn't use that so I am not much help there. I'm sure someone will tell you exactly what it is.

My Best to You and Everyone Here

Hondo's picture
Posts: 6643
Joined: Apr 2009

I used the Magic Mouthwash but it would make me gag so I would have to water it down had no problems with it after that. You will need to get a prescription for it from your doctor; also it was not covered under my Medicine plan had to pay cash $80 bucks a bottle, but well worth it.

micktissue's picture
Posts: 430
Joined: Dec 2009

Hi there BB. Do you know the amount of rads you're getting? They are usually referred to as grays. I'll be getting 50-60 grays, which is considered a low dose, with each treatment (scheduled for 35).

When I have had a sore throat in the past I typically gargled with 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper in a cup of hot water. My Dr raised his eyes at this and suggested I not do that *if* I get a sore throat during treatments. I asked why and he said "It probably wont help."

I started using cayenne a few years ago when I read about natural cures for colds and flu. I had tried the standard salt gargle, but nothing was as effective as cayenne. Yes, it does hurt a lot, but within a day the sore throat was gone, not just subdued, but gone. It always worked.

It is counter intuitive but cayenne is a natural anti-inflammatory. I may try a more diluted mixture when I get the throat and mouth sore and will post the results here.



Posts: 7
Joined: Jan 2010

Stil have toung and cheek sores , have used all of the above with some results but miricle mouthwash just befor bed seem to at least let me get to sleep. I take pain meds during the day and they seem to keep it managable . Having a big problem with neck and sholder pain with apthy and loss of muscle mass
anyone ?

Kent Cass
Posts: 1898
Joined: Nov 2009

Mick- was never told the "amount" of rads. Just know that my sessions would last some 25-30 minutes, with getting zapped in 20 places/session, for the first 31 rads. The last 3 were partials, with only getting zapped in some 5 places/session. The only thing I know about the amount is what the rad Technician, who said she earned her stripes, so to speak, at Mayo's, told me as she walked me out on that last day- a rather large compliment.

Of note, about colds and flu- the old school knowledge is that Peppers do help in preventing colds and flu from getting a toehold. First I heard of it was what the Clinton's do, in their very public lives (nevermind Bill's private life!). Do know that red bell peppers are supposed to have high vitamin-C content, but I think the Clinton's used a hotter pepper- one/day.

fyi, Mick

Scambuster's picture
Posts: 973
Joined: Nov 2009


See earlier posts or 'search' Glutamine Powder (L-Glutamine). I was put on this and still take it. I think it can help a lot repairing the Mucosa. Not a quick fix but with the right amount daily, it should help you with your current issue.


ratface's picture
Posts: 1319
Joined: Aug 2009

Go buy you a big bottle of providone iodine and mix a solution between 7-15% diluted. This is about the color of a rich dark tea. Easy to mix in a water bottle and just leave on the counter. Make sure you don't have little kids around for that. Gargle after anything is eaten and before bed. You will dramatically decrease your mouth sores.

Be very cautious putting anything with pepper in your mouth at this time. I tried a beef sandwich with peppers shortly after treatment and did not have a pleasant experience.

Kent Cass
Posts: 1898
Joined: Nov 2009

BeatificBrunette- during treatment, when my mouth became a trainwreck, Magic Mouthwash did me a lotta good. Fortunately, I had other meds to help me deal with it, but even during my 4-day stay in the hospital in week #6 the MM was given to me. You have a ways to go, BeatificBrunette, but rest easy in knowing you will get there. We all have our experiences, and they are all difficult, but we all have survived okay, and so will you. Just gets a little tough at times, as you know.

As for anything w/pepper during treatment, or even shortly after- would not have even considered it. But maybe that's just my specific case. Took me a couple months after the last rad before I was able to start eating regularly- pancakes ruled the day for the first couple months.



Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2010

My dentist gives me laser treatments and they seem to help alot

debbiejeanne's picture
Posts: 3095
Joined: Jan 2010

This post is from another person on a different topic, I hope it helps.
God Bless,

My big gripe was I had Throat cancer, and the Phlem thing going on, I didn't quite realize what they said when they keep saying the weeks of treatment would get worst. I remember the room always cold, having to removing my shirt, and then being strapped. The times I got the phlem problem, and started to choke, or had a big wade build up, they would have to stop the session and let me up, but the group I had where aware of this and said it wasn't uncommon. During the end of my 7 weeks, my neck was cooked, red, open sores, they gave me a new drug on the market for my sores in my mouth and on my tongue, with out insurance, it cost over $500.00, and comes in a cardboard suitcase, the 2 vials are mixed, swished and spit out, but what a great prouduct, and the sores healed quickly, CAPHOSOL, was the name, it is new and was great!!! ask for it. my neck is finally healed and looks great, feels like babys skin, the taste buds are coming back, I struggle in the night and morning with my sore throat still, thats what the pains meds are for, I take them, to get me threw the day, I am happy I gained 10-lbs, 170, from 160. i ate my first piece of chicken and fish this week. Everyone will go threw cancer different, I remember freezing and then having heat waves as you do, I always seem cold still. I still await the return of my voice..it seems to get a little stronger, but dies out after the day progresses, take care, it does get better, I hope we never have to return to this disease again, Once was enough for me

Subscribe to Comments for "Tongue and Mouth Ulcers"