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Dry Mouth From Chemo

Posted by Emilienne Rebel on

Dry Mouth from Chemo? This is a common side effect of many chemotherapy drugs and something I really suffered with, so I was interested to read this article from a dental hygienist Christina, who underwent chemo herself. 

"While Christina has shared her blog about wigs, chemo ports, and cancer keepsake boxes, perhaps her area of highest expertise is in chemo and dry mouth. Not only did Christina go through dry mouth as a side effect of chemo (as well as other oral complications), but she is a dental hygienist and an expert in how to keep your mouth healthy and clean!"

I lost my saliva when I had chemotherapy for breast cancer (stage 3 advanced) and it was a very unpleasant side effect of the treatment. I would describe it to anyone as like eating dry All Bran (a dry breakfast cereal in small stick-like form) anytime I tried to eat something. I was given a sweet lemon tasting artificial saliva but it was really horrible. I ended up just taking sips of water all day to refresh my mouth. I had my chemotherapy 11 years ago and to this day I still suffer with a dry mouth and constantly need a drink with me otherwise I feel very uncomfortable. My gums also receded quite significantly during my treatment, so I'm always paranoid with every dentist visit as to what they say, but so far all okay... although I'm told I brush my teeth too hard... which I really don't (I'm very careful about that), so I'm guessing that's a continued side effect.  

"In addition to a host of other unpleasant side effects, chemo can cause dry mouth, mouth sores, difficulty swallowing, and even tooth decay. Dry mouth is especially troublesome because, not only is it uncomfortable, but it creates an acidic environment that promotes tooth decay and makes it hard to chew food.

After talking a bit about dry mouth in general and why it’s a problem, Christina launches into sharing about all the different products she tried, with mixed success, to keep her mouth moist and comfortable during her chemo treatments. Some products she loved and recommends highly, while there are others she tries to steer us away from. These recommendations are great for anyone experiencing dry mouth regardless of the cause."

Read the complete article written by Katie Taylor on The Breast Cancer Site here:


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