Maintaining oral hygiene is one of the biggest challenges for patients during cancer treatment. Below are the effective tips along with jaw exercises suggested by your oral cancer doctor that will help in maintaining oral hygiene regularly. Read to know more.
Oral hygiene should always be given the utmost importance to keep one’s mouth clean. However, people undergoing cancer treatment are prone to develop oral issues due to treatment procedures and medications. Some of these issues may include dryness in the mouth, difficulty in chewing or swallowing, burning of the mouth, mouth sores, etc. Hence, oral cancer doctors always suggest keeping oral hygiene intact. Thus, this post will brief you about some simple yet effective ways to take care of oral hygiene while undergoing cancer treatment procedures.
- Enough intake of vitamins and minerals:
Deficiency in vitamins and minerals leads to multiple oral issues faced by cancer patients. Hence, it is advisable to increase the intake of vitamin B12, calcium, vitamin D, iron, and zinc. You can also consume these minerals through natural food items like yoghurt, raw milk, spinach, black beans, nuts and seeds, turkey, lamb, etc.
- Regular rinsing of mouth:
Rinsing the mouth throughout the day, especially after every meal is vital in keeping the oral hygiene on-point. One can use natural things for effective results like:
- Do plain water rinse
- Put a pinch of baking soda or salt or a mix of both solution
- One can use edible oils like coconut or sesame oil during mouth rinse
- Use a soft toothbrush to clean the teeth, gums, and tongue after every meal and before sleeping. One must consult the cancer treatment experts for the right guidance if any blood or swelling is observed in teeth or gums during brushing at any time.
- Keeping the mouth well-hydrated:
Cancer treatments like chemotherapy and immunotherapy harm the cells of the throat, mouth, and lips to some extent leading to dryness in the mouth. Hence, one should keep the body hydrated by drinking 8-10 glasses of water every day. Cancer patients can also keep their mouth moist by consuming sugarless candy or chewing gum. They should strictly avoid consuming fruit juices, drinking soda, alcohol, cigarettes, and tobacco.
- Adopt good eating habits:
Since the cancer treatment affects the salivary glands making the process of chewing and swallowing difficult, one should consume a healthy diet that is easy to eat. Below are the things to consider maintaining good eating habits:
- One should get in the habit of eating small bites while chewing slowly and sipping liquids between the meals.
- Intake of food items like cooked cereals, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs should be considered.
- For liquids, coconut water, vegetable juices, smoothies, fruit juices, soups, and green or black tea is suggested. Avoid consuming any sugary food or juice, soda, alcoholic drinks, crunchy, spicy, or hot food or beverages.
- To keep the salivary glands healthy, adding ginger in some form is recommended. Example: Ginger tea or ginger root
- Effective natural ingredients:
The importance of consumption of natural ingredients in food or drinks is enormous. Since many have agents that prevent oral cancer, one should consume natural ingredients likes lemon, grapeseed oil, Aloe Vera, rosemary, cardamom, cayenne pepper, fennel seeds, etc. These ingredients promote the production of salivary glands and therefore helps to prevent mouth sores and dry mouth.
- Jaw exercise to reduce stiffness:
The radiation procedure during cancer treatment for the head and neck often causes stiffness in the jaw muscles. This not only is painful but also creates trouble during chewing and swallowing. Hence, one can take advice from their oral cancer doctor to know the effective jaw exercises to cure stiffness.
The dreadful disease of cancer and its treatment leads to a plethora of side effects. Since these side effects also harm the oral health of the patient, implementing the above ways will improve the oral hygiene of the cancer patient. This will further prevent the occurrence of a bottleneck in cancer treatment.