Ulcers, infections or a dry mouth can all make eating well a challenge.
You might experience mouth problems, particularly during and after chemotherapy, radiotherapy to the head and neck, or if you have cancer of the mouth or throat. The good news is that these problems are often temporary.
Some of the most common mouth problems are:
If you have a dry mouth, sucking on sugar-free boiled sweets or chewing sugar-free gum can help stimulate saliva and keep your mouth moist.
Note that excessive consumption of some sweeteners used in sugar-free sweets and gum can have a laxative effect.
If you have a sore mouth, cold foods and drinks, such as fruit juice-based ice lollies, yoghurt and frozen yoghurt, smoothies, sugar-free jellies, gazpacho and crushed ice can be very soothing.
Sipping drinks throughout the day will keep your mouth feeling fresh and help prevent you from becoming dehydrated.
While you have a sore mouth, try to avoid any foods or drinks that might irritate your mouth or that are hard to swallow, such as:
If you smoke, try to give up as smoking irritates the mouth and slows down healing.
If you’ve lost weight, use our tips and recipes to help you get the most out of every mouthful.
Adapt your favourite foods to make them as soft and moist as possible. This will make them easier to chew and swallow, and less likely to irritate your mouth. Try these tips:
Mashing, blending or liquidising your food can make it easier to eat – for example, blending casseroles or curries to make thick soups, pureeing vegetables and fruit, and mashing potatoes.
Tell your doctor if you’re experiencing any mouth problems. They may be able to prescribe pain medication, special mouthwashes or gels.
> Nutritional tips for a sore mouth
> What can I do if I have a dry mouth during cancer treatment?
> Nutritional tips for thickened secretions forming in mouth and throat during cancer treatment
> Nutritional tips for a soft textured diet during cancer treatment
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