Effects on your mouth

Some drugs can make your mouth dry, sore, and occasionally ulcerated. This may happen five to 10 days following treatment but usually settles within three to four weeks. Inform your GP, doctor, or nurse if it becomes very uncomfortable.

You can help yourself in the following ways:

General advice

  • drink at least eight cups of fluid per day
  • keep your mouth moist and clean at all times
  • avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol. A simple mouthwash made from 1 teaspoon of salt to a pint of boiled, cooled water is ideal.
  • avoid smoking and alcohol

Dry mouth

  • try soft foods or moisten foods with sauces or gravy
  • stimulate saliva production with fruit juice or ice cubes
  • pineapple, either fresh or tinned, is refreshing and can help to keep your mouth clean
  • suck strongly flavoured pastilles or mints to keep your mouth moist

Sore Mouth

  • use a soft bristled brush or soft gauze wrapped around your finger to gently clean your teeth after meals and each morning and night
  • avoid dental floss since it may damage the gums causing them to bleed
  • avoid extremely hot or cold foods, sharp foods, highly spiced foods, salty foods, and tart beverages.
  • With some drugs, you may find that food tastes bitter or salty or you may experience a metallic taste. You can help yourself by sucking a mint or strong flavoured sweet during treatment. Normal taste usually returns when treatment is complete. Please ask for more information.