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Pretty serious mouth sores

Posts: 120
Joined: Jun 2012

Hi everyone,

I spoke to Dave this afternoon and he said that his mouth sores have "taken a turn for the worse" (his words) and that radiation thinks that chemo is causing them and he needs to stop chemo for a bit. They prescribed a pretty heavy duty pain med for him, and emailed Dr. Kelly his medical oncologist. His radiation nurse seems to think that dehydration is playing a role in the sores. I noticed yesterday when I was with him that he didn't seem to be drinking enough. I suggested that he take a gatorade bottle or something that he clearly knows how many ounces are in it, and force himself to drink the prescribed amount a day. I know how hard it is to drink when you are forced to, but as the nurse said, dehydration is what lands most people in the hospital. Has anyone else experienced this particular side effect? I frankly am surprised that they just didn't give him a bag or 2 of saline today when he was there. We've got just a week left, I'd hate for him to lose some ground. Any thoughts or suggestions?



Amjosmom's picture
Posts: 231
Joined: Jun 2012

My dad gargled with salt water. His sores weren't too severe, though. Hang in there!!


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stephikindred's picture
Posts: 153
Joined: Mar 2012

My mom is getting the sores too and I told her to start gargling with baking soda. What is magic mouthwash? I've seen someone post this and was not sure if it is a home remedy or an actual product.

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ryckej1's picture
Posts: 29
Joined: Jun 2012

I went through this same issue. I did end up in the hospital for dehydration and malnutrition because I was not eating or drinking. Can he get to the oncology center for some IV fluids? I started doing this and it was helpful. No matter how much you want or how much anyone tells you that you need to, it is sometimes still almost impossible to get those fluids in yourself. I know that it sucked for me, but it did work out in the end. I am sorry he is having a hard go of it. Hang in there. The mouth sores were not fun. The magic mouthwash helped a bit, but then I did not want to eat. Cancer Blows.

Donna70's picture
Posts: 921
Joined: Aug 2009

While I was on chemo and had pretty bad mouth sores, my dr prescribed Acyclovir liquid med, it worked wonders and when I had to have post op chemo I resumed taking it for the duration. It helped before and after surgery. Hope all goes well. Also I had to have fluid infusions once or twice a week during my radiation and chemo. I just could not drink the amount of fluids needed to stay hydrated. take care,

Posts: 120
Joined: Jun 2012

As usual you all come through! What a fabulous group here.

Posts: 88
Joined: Feb 2010

My husband, Lou, had a terrible time with mouth sores in the beginning too. Plus fungal infection and had to have oral surgery twice. He found that what helped the most was the salt and baking soda water rinse. Also, I got him one of those toothbrushes for babies. They have extra soft bristles. His nurse gave him some samples of Biotene products to keep his mouth moist, but he didn't care for them, so I'm not sure if they might have helped.
But I echo what everyone says-hydration!


jgwright's picture
Posts: 252
Joined: Oct 2011

I make up a rinse of baking soda and salt each time I need it. I get 4 ounces of warm water with a quarter teaspoon of soda and a quarter teaspoon of salt. Swish it around, and helps the healing very nicely. In my case the mouth and tongue sores were caused by radiation to the tumor in my lower left side gum. Lost all 4 teeth in that segment, and I have this spot on my jaw that looks like I was punched. Caused from the breakdown of cell walls in jaw. It is healing up finally, but it will take several more weeks to see if the radiation killed the tumor.


As to "Magic Mouthwash", generally this is a suspension of an anti-fungal agent called Nuelastin. Everyone has this fungus in their mouth, but the saliva and antibacterial agents normally present keep it under control. Uncontrolled, it's called "thrush". Again, no fun.

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