Sore mouth management

A sore and sensitive mouth is something that patients commonly experience during cancer and cancer treatment. The changes that you may experience can make eating and maintaining weight a definite challenge. Discussing possible side effects of your treatment with your physician and pharmacist can help you with precautions and offers a way to stay ahead of your nutritional needs.

Blueberry yogurt

Blueberry yogurt is soothing.

Here are some tips to make your mouth feel better – which will make getting good nutrition easier:

  • Soft, bland foods served cold or at room temperature are a good idea. Try creamed soups, yogurt, pudding and tender-cooked meats such as chicken, beef and fish. Other soothing foods are milkshakes, mashed potatoes, bananas, applesauce, cottage cheese, pasta and gelatin.
  • Cold foods are often soothing:  Try freezing your favorite fruits for a snack or have frozen fruit pops and ice chips to help stay hydrated. Also, try chilled nutritional supplement drinks for additional nutrition; these can also be mixed with ice cream.
  • Moisten foods with gravy, sauces, butter, soup or broth for a more tolerable experience with meals (and to add needed, extra calories). Even drizzling olive oil on appropriate foods may make eating less painful.

Avoid these to keep your mouth comfortable:

  • Citrus fruits, such as oranges and lemons, as well as tomatoes because of their high acid content
  • Spices and seasonings, such as pepper, chili powder, cloves and nutmeg
  • Rough and dry foods, such as dry toast, crackers or hard snacks, such as pretzels
  • Mouthwashes, alcoholic and acidic beverages and tobacco

Ask your health care provider if there are any medications that could help soothe or numb your mouth or throat.

For more information related to managing sore mouth and other side effects of cancer treatment, check out these tips.