Radiation therapy is a new age miracle. It has been used in many treatment regimens but there are many side effects to this as well. Here we are talking about a common side effect of radiation therapy called a dry mouth. Dry mouth also termed as Xerostomia can be a troubling side effect and can be caused by a group of factors that individuals being treated for cancer can be vulnerable to such as:
- Radiation therapy can cause dry mouth when the salivary glands have been bared to radiation. Sometimes, over a period of time, the salivary glands will re-start working but they rarely return to their normal function. Xerostomia caused by the radiation to the salivary glands can be a lifelong issue.
- Conditions such as dehydration or fungal infection of the mouth (candidiasis) may lead to dry mouth.
- Medicines: Chemotherapy, pain management medications, anti-depressants, diuretics.
Before Starting Radiation Therapy:
Before the treatment begins, make a visit to your dentist to get an overall check-up. Let your dentist know that you are undergoing cancer treatment. If you have any pain or sensitivity during the examination, let your dentist know, or you may Book your Online Appointment with the Best Dentist in Islamabad, Karachi or other main cities of Pakistan via Marham.pk.
Read Also: 5 Most Common Cancers in Pakistan
Simple Ways to Deal with Dry Mouth during Cancer Treatment
Although the dry mouth is not absolutely avoidable during radiation treatment, there are 10 simple tips that may allay symptoms:
- Stay well hydrated by sipping frequently.
- Rinse your mouth 4 to 6 times a day, especially after meals.
- Avoid mouthwashes and other dental products that contain alcohol. Products designed for people with Xerostomia are available without a prescription.
- Use a cool mist humidifier in your home, especially at bedtime.
- Do not smoke or use tobacco products.
- Try sipping through a straw.
- Avoid foods that are crunchy, salty, spicy, or sugary.
- Chew sugarless gum. Avoid gum with sugar as the decrease in saliva may increase the risk of plaque.
- Choose foods that are easy to swallow. Make blended food if you have difficulty swallowing.
- When radiation therapy starts, use fluoride rinses and gels. These are an important part of caring for the health of your mouth during chemotherapy & cancer treatments.
Talk with your health care team about any new symptoms you experience. If you need any expert advice about your radiotherapy, you can also Book your online appointment with the best Radiologist in Islamabad, Lahore or other main cities of Pakistan!
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