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Mucositis and Mouth sores

Mucositis, colloquially known as mouth sores, is a common acute oral side effect of chemotherapy, radiation treatment to the head and neck, and stem cell transplants. Mucositis may be extremely painful and lead to impaired oral intake, weight loss, and nutritional deficiencies. 


How is mucositis managed?

Ideally, maintaining excellent oral hygiene and visiting the dentist regularly may reduce your risk of developing mucositis. Prior to undergoing chemotherapy, head and neck radiation treatment, or a stem cell transplant, Dr. Levi will perform an oral evaluation and review methods to help reduce your risk of developing infections that may worsen your symptoms of mucositis.


Mucositis treatment options

There are several methods to treat mucositis including:

  • medications

  • photobiomodulation

  • behavior modification 

  • oral hygiene instruction and evaluation


Other tips to help prevent mucositis
  • Brush and floss your teeth at least twice daily and visit your dentist frequently for oral evaluations

  • Rinse your mouth with a solution of baking soda and salt water three to four times daily

  • Avoid spicy, acidic or extremely dry foods 

  • Run your extra soft toothbrush under hot water while brushing to soften the bristles  

The Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC) presents additional education on mucositis.

mucositis, cancer dentist new york
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