• Mouth and nose sores

    Asked by ibcarolek on Wednesday, May 8, 2013

    Mouth and nose sores

    John's been on chemo now for about 9 months. His mouth and nose sores are getting bad...perhaps because it being allergy season, the nose is bloody often and he's afraid to blow it so it's causing more coughing. I'm afraid he's going to get pneumonia again. Toothpaste/brushing teeth is getting painful. Any tips on handling this? We've switched from Listerine mouthwash to Biotene - anything else we can do for his poor mouth and nose?

    12 Answers from the Community

    12 answers
    • ddkk3's Avatar

      I'm not familiar with the nose sores but I do get mouth sores like clockwork after every chemo. Biotene mouthwash is absolutely amazing for this. Rinse several times a day and they should be gone in a few days. There is also a prescription mouthwash called Neutrasal which your doctor can prescribe to you. My doctor also gave me a prescription for Famciclovir. It's an antiviral pill which I take for 5 days every chemo (starting on day of chemo). The first time I took it, it barely helped but it seems to be helping more and more each time (I'm assuming that's what's working) because my mouth sores are decreasing in severity. After this last chemo, I think I only used Biotene mouthwash a few times. Biotene also makes a toothpaste which you may want to try. (I personally didn't like it because it had zero mint flavor at all and was kind of weird but it's worth a shot).

      Anyway, there are definitely things you can do to help so please ask your oncologist! Best of luck to you both! I hope John feels better soon.

      over 5 years ago
    • AlizaMLS's Avatar

      Dear ibcarolek,

      Hi, I'm Aliza, a BC patient and the site's unofficial resident Medical Librarian. I'm also a Lupus patient which sometimes predisposes me to having mouth sores for no reason, so your idea re the Biotene is a good one. They also make a gum which helps remove plaque and generate saliva and a spray which helps generate saliva (important after chemo).

      I escaped without chemo because of Oncotype genetic testing, but I'd get aloe and E tissues which are gentler on the nose than regular kleeex or tissues and have John coat the edges and just inside of his nose with Vaseline (might feel a little strange at first, but it beats sores) (I have a lot of colds because I'm immunocompromised due to Lupus). I'd also try to drink a lot of fluds as that lubricates his passages. A humidifier in your living room, kitchen and bedroom areas might help as well (they come these days with both warm and cold air settings).

      Hot drinks - like hot tea are s\probably better than cold as steam may provide a more lubricating influence on his nasal tissues-chicken soup as well.

      Re toothpaste- I'd go down to your local healthfood store or coop and see if there's a brand with no additives (no fluoride, no whitening agents, etc.) I hadne, but can't recall the nme.

      That's all I can think of at the moment. I hope those ideas are helpful. and I wish you ease from your discomfort.

      Warm wishes,

      I hope these will spak some other ideas and eventually

      over 5 years ago
    • carm's Avatar

      It sounds like a serious case of chemo induced mucositis. If you don't have a prescription for Miles solution then I would ask the doc for one. Until then, there are a few things you can do. Get a popsicle stick and wrap the end with gauze and use as a toothbrush. You can get Oragel or Baby Dentapaine and apply it to the sores. Also, if you have vitamin E capsules, puncture a 400IU capsule on a swab and apply it liberally on the sores. The nose bleeds are probably a result of nose capillaries bursting and if you can keep the nose moist with an Afrin High Moisture nasal spray or even a normal saline nasal spray like Ocean, it might help. I have a mother who has frequent nose bleeds and I keep silver nitrate sticks in the house to swab in her nose on the bleed to cauterize it. They are available on Amazon. Best of luck to you, Carm RN.

      over 5 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      Speak with your oncology team, you may also want to see an ENT. There's a lot a stuff out there to help cope with these issues. Magic Mouth Wash -which contains lidoicaine can help with the pain. It it's a fungal infection you can get Nystatin oral suspension. My ENT also prescribed dexamethasone mouth rinse to help clear and heal a very sever outbreak. The key is knowing what is causing the sores, so the right meds are prescribed. As a life long dry nose sufferer i find putting a dab of Vaseline in my nostrils several times a day helps with dryness and bleeding.

      Biotene Rocks - they also have toothpaste, and mouth spray, both of which i use as well as the mouth wash.

      Good luck.

      over 5 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      Two more things i have found useful. 1) a neti pot - fill with warm distilled (or cooled boiled water) and fill with a mixture of 1/4 tsp kosher salt and 1/8 tsp baking soda stir, and use one pot full per nostril - it helps clear out the XXX - you can also buy pre-made packets. 2)fill a cup with warm water and add 1/4 tsp kosher salt and 1/2 tsp baking soda - and gargle

      I use the neti pot twice a day - I gargle twice day, unless i have outbreak, then i do it 3-4 times day. Very soothing.

      over 5 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar

      Three things pop right into my mind....

      One - baking soda and salt water mouthwash... periodically -= maybe switching back and forth with the biotene. The biotene definitely helps... but so does the baking soda and salt water mouthwash... Consider also using a saline nose spray to keep his nose from getting all dried out.

      Two - ask about adding glutamine as a supplement - if the health care team approves it, run to your local health food store and buy a jar of glutamine powder. Mix a rounded tablespoon full into water and drink up. This is one supplement that has been shown to help with side effects like these. I did it through my chemo... and the two cycles during which I slacked off, I got horrid mouth sores. They were HORRIBLE! Anyway, it doesn't taste like much. I generally was not patient enough to let it all dissolved - swirl and slam was my way to go.

      Three - children's toothpaste. I used bubblegum flavor, which didn't taste at all like bubble gum because my tastebuds were so mucked up. In fact, whatever it did taste like... I kind of liked it. I liked the transformers one my child was using - although I got one of my own so that I didn't pick up any new germs from using his....

      BLECH - horrible side effects! I'm so sorry he has to deal with this.

      over 5 years ago
    • LauraJo's Avatar

      Check with your doc, but as a lifelong sufferer with mouth & nose sores, I take 500 mg of Lysine daily as a preventative, and never got one sore through 2 rounds of chemo. Also, when I have an outbreak, 50-100 mg of zinc daily to help with the healing. A little vaseline or vitamin e in the nose can help as well. So sorry he is having to go through this, I know it makes a difficult situation so much more miserable.

      over 5 years ago
    • Ydnar2xer's Avatar

      I had both mouth and nose sores during chemo. Every time I blew my nose, it was a bloody Kleenex until I started putting vitamin E oil on the sores. It's available in thick and thicker concentrates and I found the thicker type stayed in my nose better, what with no nose hair left. As far as mouth sores, I used Alum--found in the spice section of the supermarket--and a wet Q-tip did the trick for me. Alum tastes icky, but you can rinse your mouth several times after dabbing it on your sores and when they go away, it'll be worth it. Good luck. Both issues are a total pain, aren't they?

      over 5 years ago
    • IKickedIt's Avatar

      My dentist told me that brushing itself is more important than the toothpaste. Forgo the toothpaste on the days when the mouth is most sore.

      over 5 years ago
    • joyce1979's Avatar

      I had the mouth sores and not so much the nose sores. I used a Kanka SoftBrush Gel pen bought at the drug store. It is painted on the sores & I had my husband do this because I had so many & couldn't see them. It alleviates the pain to let one eat something. It isn't a cure, but it does help with the pain. Also, brushed with a product called DioxiBrite from Frontier Pharmaceuticals ordered on the internet. It helped because it didn't sting or burn. Was the only product I could use to keep my teeth clean. Eventually after the chemo ended, things went back to normal but now I am more susceptible to mouth sores. Used saline for the nose sores but mostly had to bear it. Hope this helps.

      over 5 years ago
    • myb's Avatar

      I had nose bleeds and mouth sores. After chemo 1, the onc stopped the Leucovorin which enhanced the 5fu which causes the mouth sores which was really a win for me. I used the Biotene non alcoholic dry mouth rinse like 4-5 times a day which worked for me to stay ahead of the problem. I also had a thin brush which I used to clean in between teeth as no flossing during chemo.

      For the nose bleeds, I used a saline spray couple of times a day to keep the nostrels moist.

      over 5 years ago
    • nance's Avatar

      Walgreens carries a nose moiturizer for people that are under going Chemo. Look in the section where the nose drops are. Regarding brushing teeth....if you haven't already....buy a extra soft toothbrush and sensitive toothpaste.
      I used all of these products during my chemo and it helped. I tried to use Petroleum Jelly to help with nose issues but I could not stand the smell of it. What was strange is I never noticed a smell before but chemo enhanced my sense of smell.

      over 5 years ago

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