10 Oral Hygiene Tips for Patients With Cancer

June 10, 2014

According to the National Cancer Institute, it is projected that approximately 1,665,540 people in the United States will be diagnosed with cancer in 2014, and of these cases, 42,440 people will be affected by oral cancer.

According to the National Cancer Institute, it is projected that approximately 1,665,540 people in the United States will be diagnosed with cancer in 2014, and of these cases, 42,440 people will be affected by oral cancer.

Patient’s who undergo cancer therapy face the oral inflammatory complications of oral mucositis and oral stomatitis. These complications result in ulcers and infection of oral tissue.

Management and prevention of these symptoms through routine oral hygiene is important to reduce pain and risk of infection in patients with cancer. DARA BioSciences offers their Top 10 Oral Hygiene Tips for Patients with Cancer:

Tip 1: Find a dentist who has experience treating patients with cancer.

Tip 2: Use a mouth rinse made with table salt or baking soda to alleviate dry mouth.

Tip 3: Avoid alcohol, as well as products containing alcohol, as these can cause a burning sensation and irritate sensitive areas in your mouth.

Tip 4: Avoid foods that are spicy, hot acidic, coarse or abrasive.

Tip 5: Brush your teeth with a very soft bristle toothbrush for at least two minutes, twice to three times a day.

Tip 6: Avoid using toothpaste with whitening agents or tartar control agents. Use toothpaste for sensitive teeth.

Tip 7: Gently floss your teeth at least once a day. See your healthcare provider if you experience excessive bleeding of the gums, as this may be a sign your platelet count is too low.

Tip 8: Keep lips moist with moisturizers. Avoid using Vaseline, as the oil base can promote infection or burns caused from radiation treatment.

Tip 9: If you wear dentures, make sure your dentures fit properly and remove them whenever possible to expose gums to air. Do not wear dentures if you develop severe mouth sores.

Tip 10: Get help to quit smoking.

Check out this video on DARA’s Top 10 Oral Hygiene Tips for Patients with Cancer.

The National Cancer Institute offers additional oral hygiene suggestions of using fluoride once a day and topical antimicrobial rinses for patients after cancer therapy.

Last year, DARA reintroduced Gelclair, an FDA-approved bioadherent oral rinse gel for treating the pain that accompanies oral mucositis. Gelclair is the most clinically studied and published of all oral gel devices approved for oral mucositis in the United States.

DARA has developed a smartphone app to provide additional oral mucositis education and resources for cancer patients. To get additional educational resources by DARA BioSciences, click here to download the app with either iTunes or Google Play.

Click here to subscribe to DPR: http://bit.ly/1abf9Ua