John Flynn Private Hospital
Part of Ramsay Health Care

Mouth Care

Will chemotherapy give me mouth ulcers?

Yes... it may. The cells in your mouth are fast growing cells. Remember that chemotherapy affects fast growing cells.

Ways to avoid mouth ulcers:

  • Check for changes by monitoring your mouth morning and evening and use the grading scale to contact the doctor when indicated.
  • Mouth washes should be done after each meal and before going to bed at night.
  • Increase the frequency of mouth washes if the condition of your mouth worsens, and consult the nursing staff for further advice.
  • Keep lips moist.
  • Keep your mouth clean and moist.
  • Remove dentures before mouthwashes, clean them and your gums before putting them back in again.
  • Avoid alcohol based elixirs and commercial mouthwashes as these might dry your mouth out and make things worse.
  • Use a soft tooth brush to prevent trauma. This should be regularly replaced.
  • Avoid flossing only if platelets count is below 40.
  • Avoid food that may cause trauma to your mouth (very hot/cold beverages, sharp chips).
  • Some medications in combination with chemotherapy can cause problems with your jaw. Please tell your doctor or nurse if you experience any jaw pain.
  • Consult your doctor before seeing a dentist during treatment.

Mouthwash recipes

  • Salt: One teaspoon of salt to one cup of warm water.
  • Sodium Bicarbonate: One teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate to one cup of warm water.