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How To Treat Mouth Sores from Chemo Naturally | To Avoid Drug Side Effects

Mouth sores may get treated with painkillers or anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen. But the medicines are not always effective and some have side effects. For example, ibuprofen may cause stomach ulcers, while naproxen can cause bleeding in the gut or kidneys.

Fortunately, several natural methods help keep your mouth healthy during chemo treatment and reduce the risk of developing mouth sores. At Dr. Brite,we have products that are mild and easy on your sores. We pride ourselves in ensuring that our products are safe and don't have any hormone disruptors or inflammatory agents.

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Keep reading to learn more about how to treat mouth sores from chemo naturally:

What Home Remedy is Good for Mouth Sores?

There are many home remedies that will help ease up the pain while some will completely heal the mouth sores. Listed below are a few of them:

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a potent herb that helps heal the oral tissue after cancer treatments and therapies. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial,and antioxidant properties that help in reducing the pain and inflammation caused by mouth sores. You can make a paste by mixing aloe vera gel with honey and turmeric powder or apply the gel directly on your tongue or inside your mouth.

aloe vera remedy

Raw honey

Honey is another natural remedy that will work well for mouth sores after cancer treatments. It contains antioxidants like polyphenols, pinocembrin, and other flavonoids that help reduce inflammation in your body and fight infections caused by salmonella and E. coli. In addition, you can use raw honey instead of refined sugar to sweeten foods because it contains minerals such as potassium and iron, which are suitable for your overall health.

raw honey

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is another effective home remedy for oral complications after cancer treatments. It contains medium-chain fatty acids like lauric acid, which have anti-inflammatory properties that effectively reduce swelling and pain in the affected area. It's also anti-fungal, which helps against thrush, another common side effect of cancer treatment.

Coconut and a bottle of oil

Turmeric

Turmeric has always been used in traditional Indian medicine to treat sores in the mouth and throat for centuries, but studies show that it may also benefit this area. The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and inhibit tumor growth in rats with oral cancer. For best results, turmeric can be taken as a supplement or applied topically as a paste or gel.

a wooden spoon and bowl with turmeric

Ginger

Ginger is another spice with ancient medicinal uses — including relieving nausea from chemotherapy for cancer patients. It has also been shown to ease the mouth thrush and may effectively soothe mouth sores! Ginger contains compounds like gingerols and shogaols, which work by numbing nerve endings without causing numbness or tingling sensations like other treatments.

ginger slices and powder

Lemon Balm

Lemon balm is an herb known to have a soothing effect on the digestive system. It can also reduce inflammation, which can help with mouth sores. The best way to use the lemon balm is to make tea from the leaves or flowers.

First, pour boiling water into two teaspoons of either fresh or dried lemon balm leaves, cover, and let steep for 10 minutes. After, strain the leaves and drink the tea while it's still hot. You can also use dried lemon balm in capsules or tinctures if you don't want to brew it yourself.

little boxes with lemon balm

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea is another herb that can reduce inflammation and calm your digestive system when you're experiencing mouth sores due to cancer treatments. Add a single teaspoon of dry chamomile flowers per cup of hot boiling water, then leave it covered for a few minutes before straining out the flowers and drinking the tea while it's still hot.

Chamomile tea can also help treat insomnia, anxiety, and depression. Still, there isn't much evidence that it will help with mouth sores caused by chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

a cup of chamomile tea

Baking Soda

It's an effective ingredient in treating mouth sores after chemotherapy sessions. Baking soda helps in reducing inflammation, swelling, and pain associated with mouth ulcers. In addition, it will speed up the healing process by increasing blood circulation to the affected area of your mouth, which helps get rid of all infections faster than ever before!

Saltwater Rinse

Mouth rinses using salty water are the easiest and most effective ways to alleviate mouth sores after cancer treatments. Dissolve an entire teaspoonful of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water, then gargle for 30 seconds or until the solution becomes warm.

Gargling with this solution every two hours helps numb the mouth and ease oral sensitivity and pain. If you have trouble swallowing or severe pain, use this rinse more frequently until the sores heal.

a spoon of salt and a glass of water

Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse

After cancer treatments, another simple way to alleviate mouth sores is by gargling with hydrogen peroxide twice a day for about five minutes. Gargling and mouth rinsewith hydrogen peroxide kills bacteria and reduces inflammation in your mouth, making it easier to eat and drink without discomfort. For example, add one part of hydrogen peroxide to two parts of water, then gargle with this solution for five minutes twice a day until your sores are gone.

Tips to Help Ease Painful Mouth Sores

Below are several steps to manage mouth sores:

  • Rinse your mouth thoroughlywith warm salt water or baking soda water several times a day to help relieve pain from mouth sores.

  • When brushing your teeth, use asoft-bristled toothbrush — don't use an electric one to protect your ulcers from further irritation and mouth pain.

  • Avoid consuming acidic foods, including citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes, strawberries, pineapple, and colas. These foods can irritate your mouth and lead to more ulcers forming on top of existing ones. If you don't want to give up these foods entirely, try eating them in small amounts or cooking them first, so they lose their acidity.

  • Drink plenty of waterto ensure the tissues stay moist and heal faster after an ulcer heals up.

  • Eat small meals more frequently. You'll avoid overloading your mouth, which could make the sores worse.

  • Use a strawwhen you drink fluids such as water or juice. Straws will help keep pressure off your mouth and reduce pain and swelling.

  • Continue cleaning your mouth with a soft toothbrush and gentle anti-bacterial rinse every day until the sores heal completely. Cleaning will prevent infection and help them heal faster.

toothbrushes and oral rinse

How Does Cancer Treatment Cause Mouth Sores?

Cancer treatments cause mouth sores for a variety of reasons. Some cancer treatments directly attack the immune system, leading to mouth sores. Other treatments reduce the white blood cells used in fighting infections.

Chemo medication can cause mouth sores because they kill healthy cells and cancerous ones. One chemo drug, in particular, called 5-FU, is notorious for causing mouth sores. If you have been given this drug, follow your doctor's instructions about eating and drinking to don't accidentally swallow any of the medication.

It may also cause mucositis (inflammation of the mucous membrane) in your mouth if you're undergoing radiation therapy like neck radiation therapy. This is because radiation damages the cells that line your mouth, stomach, and intestines. This damage can make it easier for infections to occur in these areas.

How Will You Know If You Have Mouth Sores?

Cancer-related mouth sores appear inside the mouth or on the lips. The lesions mimic burns and can be unpleasant, making eating, speaking, swallowing, and breathing difficulties. The most common symptom of mouth sores is a painful, burning sensation in your mouth and gums. It can feel like you have been chewing on something hot or spicy or like someone rubbed a lemon on your tongue. Other symptoms include:

  • Tenderness in the area where the sore is located

  • Swelling around your gums and lips

  • Redness of your gums and lips

  • White patches on the surface of your tongue or inside your mouth 

  • Swelling in your throat

  • Trouble swallowing or chewing food

  • Burning sensation in your mouth

a woman having trouble with swallowing

FAQs

Is Honey Good for Chemo Mouth Sores?

Honey is a natural product that has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It can also get used to treat mouth sores and wounds caused by chemo. However, it is essential to remember that honey has a high sugar content and should only be used in small quantities.

How Long Does It Take for Chemo Mouth Sores to Go Away?

It takes approximately six months after chemotherapy radiation treatment ends for the mouth sores to heal completely. Healing time depends on the type of cancer, the number of treatments delivered, and the aggressiveness of the disease.

herbs and natural remedies

Go The Natural Way!

Mouth sores are a predominant side effect of cancer and cancer treatment—as many as 95 percent of people who have had chemotherapy experience them. Mouth sores can also occur in people who have radiation therapy or surgery. Treating them naturally is the best way to ensure they don't cause other side effects to the patient. 

Dr. Brite has the best natural products. The best thing about the products is that they are all-natural, so they don't cause any side effects like some other treatments do and will help prevent mouth sores.

Get 15% Off with discount code (use at checkout): BLOG15  

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