• anyone have dry mouth or difficultly swallowing while on chemo? Any tips?

    Asked by polgara on Wednesday, September 26, 2012

    anyone have dry mouth or difficultly swallowing while on chemo? Any tips?

    16 Answers from the Community

    16 answers
    • nobrand's Avatar

      Oh jeez yes! If you're having troubles with dry mouth, use Biotene. They make a mouthwash and mouth spray that are excellent! Don't let it get too dry in there, or all of these other lovely problems crop up! I've just found when I use Biotene religiously and rinse after eating, a lot of problems are avoided.

      I've also had trouble swallowing, so I often had to take little sips of water and slowly working it down. If it's impeding eating, talk to your doctor.. if pain is keeping you from swallowing well, some magic mouthwash can help a bunch.

      almost 8 years ago
    • candy's Avatar

      nobrand is definitely correct! Biotene works wonders and you can buy it at HEB in the toothpaste aisle.

      almost 8 years ago
    • packerbacker's Avatar

      I also agree with nobrand. There are other brands of mouth spray that work, but I use the Biotene mouthwash at times, too. Magic Mouthwash helps for the discomfort, otherwise I was told to gargle with either salt or baking soda and water. It seems to help. I get mouth sores from one of my chemo meds and these things help greatly. I too have problems swallowing and what has helped is what nobrand said about sips of water with food. I hope these things help! Hugs!!

      almost 8 years ago
    • Tracy's Avatar

      There are some really good sugar free hard candies made by russel stovers as well as Trident sugar free gum., Because of burned saliva glands I need to make sure I always have something with me. I give these to others I know going through Chemo. I also love the little tins of french fruit candies that are a very good strong fruit flavor. There are some good saliva replacement products on the market as well, some are better than others. Chemo changes your taste so you may have to try different ones. Take care, Tracy

      almost 8 years ago
    • briddell's Avatar

      I didnt have dry mouth but had a really difficult time swallowing, turned out I had acid reflux from the chemo.

      almost 8 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      After going through this 3 times and not thinking much of it, I now find my self having to have my teeth worked on in a serious way. Having a dry mouth has caused them to fall apart. They will get brittle, crack, decay sets in quickly. I thought I would just have them pulled. NO! My Oncologist says I cant have them pulled for fear of getting Osteoradionecrosis, I can't have HBO treatments either, for fear of jump starting a dormant cancer cell. So now, I have been sent to a Prosthodontist, to have a plan put together to save the lower jaw bone and put in a set of implanted dentures. All this, because I had a dry mouth.

      My dryness is worse than normal since I was radiated twice in my neck, saliva glands are gone, blood flow is lessened. So a word of advice. Keep water in your hand, swish your mouth regularly, brush after you eat or drink things. And still you might have a problem.

      Best of luck to everyone!

      almost 8 years ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar

      I don't start chemo until tomorrow, but I had my teeth cleaned last week. I let my dentist know I would be undergoing treatment. Their office provided me a Biotene sample pack -- mouth wash, toothpaste and gel. If you'd like to try it before purchasing, check w/your dentist -- maybe he/she has the same products available.

      almost 8 years ago
    • princess123's Avatar

      I do have dry mouth, but since they keep telling me to drink plenty of water I take care of it that way.

      almost 8 years ago
    • nobrand's Avatar

      I also second Tracy's answer above too.. hard candies can help you start some nice, natural saliva if it's possible! Starlight mints are really nice to have around, and they can also help settle your stomach. They're a good diversion tactic for nausea.

      almost 8 years ago
    • Snooks' Avatar

      I had a bad reaction to my 3rd round of chemo and had to be hospitalized. While in the hospital, I got a very bad case of GERD, but it was late at night and no one would give me an antacid. Within a few hours, I had difficulty swallowing and for the next 24 months I had to have my esophagus stretched in order to eat. That was almost six years ago. To this day I have to eat very slowly and take small bites so as not to choke.

      As to dry mouth, I kept a bottle of Gatorade by my side at all times (even on my bedside table at night).

      almost 8 years ago
    • Lindy's Avatar

      I agree, Biotene helped, magic mouth wash essential for me. I had to get the formula and have a pharmacy make it as oncologist did not offer it. Another goodie I found was Halls REFRESH, little fruit flavored candies I found at Walgreens. They are very comforting and moisturizing, come in a few different flavors so you should be able to find one you like.

      almost 8 years ago
    • Rosa's Avatar

      I finished my treatment on June. Every time I had chemo my jaw hurt so much I could not swallow and my throat felt as if I had needles inside it. My doctor told me "nothing cold, nothing hot, lots of fluids". Very small bites, it took me a half hour to swallow a few ounces of apple sauce. True, Biotene helps a lot, takes some of the bitterness off your mouth.
      Take care, be brave

      almost 8 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar

      I chewed lots of gum and drank water.....I think this was more of a problem after chemo....and I see someone mentioned Biotine...I also tried this.....lemon hard candies are also good for a dry mouth...

      almost 8 years ago
    • Robintrapp's Avatar

      For sure - use Biotene. I used the mouthwash regularly and the mouth spray before and during my meals. kind of annoying but it helped. Also - during chemo i rinsed out my mouth with baking soda / water after every meal and several other times daily and, happy to say i never got 1 mouth sore!!!

      almost 8 years ago
    • debco148's Avatar

      I agree with our other friends here that Biotene is a wonderful help for dry mouth. I also found that eating cold melon, and oranges helped as well. They were easier to swallow. Another great help was Edy's Fruit bars. So refreshing, help with that uneasy feeling in your tummy as well as the swallowing difficulty. The goal is to keep intaking as many fluids as possible so the fruit and Edy's helps so much. Additionally, these things helped alleviate possible constipation from the adjunct meds like Compozine, etc. Hope this helps!

      almost 8 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      I am a biotene groupie. My dentist recommended it. The sell, gums, sprays, toothpaste, mouthwash, etc. Best part is you can get at any pharmacy (local or national) and online via Amazon, Vitacost, etc. If you develop mouth sores, ask your doctor (or dentist) to prescribe Magic Mouth Wash, it works wonders on numbing the pain

      almost 8 years ago

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