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Oral Care

Good oral care is important during cancer treatment. Some chemotherapy drugs can cause sores in the mouth and throat, as well as dryness, irritation or bleeding. Mouth sores can become infected, so it's important to to practice good oral hygiene and to tell your care team about any symptoms.

To keep your mouth, gums and throat healthy during cancer treatment:

  • See your dentist before starting chemotherapy to have your teeth cleaned and to address problems such as cavities, abscesses, gum disease or poorly fitting dentures
  • Brush your teeth and gums after every meal with a soft toothbrush and a gentle touch
  • Rinse your toothbrush well after each use and store it in a dry place
  • Avoid commercial mouthwashes that contain a large amount of salt or alcohol

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© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center