Official website of the Academic Hospital Solingen

Side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy

Dry mouth is a frequent adverse effect of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, which can lead to damage to the mucous membrane. According to German Cancer Society (DKG), the functions of the salivary glands can also be impaired.

Dry mouth can cause very unpleasant sensations in the patient: increased saliva viscosity, disorder of chewing, swallowing, taste sensations, speech and sleep. According to DKG, this applies in particular to patients who have been irradiated in the head, throat, and thoracic area. In such patients, such symptoms can be observed for a long time.

Activating saliva through oral stimuli

Symptoms can alleviate chewing gum without sugar and sugar candies. According to Cancer Information Service, it is better to abandon food containing sugar or acid, as well as from lollipops with sharp edges due to possible damage to teeth and mucous membranes.

In addition, in order to avoid inflammatory processes in the oral cavity, DKG recommends the support of regular oral hygiene. Maintain the lips and mouth can be done regularly on a small gulp of water. It is necessary to refuse whenever possible dry, crispy food and eat soft and liquid-rich food.

Artificial saliva substitutes

In pharmacies, there are artificial substitutes for saliva in the form of a spray, gel or rinse aid for the mouth. Thus, it is possible to avoid fungal infection of the oral cavity (candidiasis of the oral cavity).


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