3 Tips For Tackling Dry Mouth When Undergoing Radiation Therapy For Treating Cancer
Although radiation therapy is an effective treatment for cancer, it does come with many side effects – dry mouth being one of the most common side effects. You might have to live with having a dry mouth for 6 months or longer after radiation therapy ends, as this is when your salivary glands will begin to produce saliva again. Here are 3 tips on how you can tackle dry mouth.
Use Commercially Available Saliva Substitutes
Usually, symptoms of dry mouth is caused by the fact that your salivary glands are no longer producing saliva, so one of the best ways to tackle this side effect is to purchase and use commercially available saliva substitutes instead. You can find saliva substitutes available as either a spray, a solution that needs to be swabbed inside the mouth, a gel and in lozenges. You can usually find saliva substitutes at your local pharmacy without a prescription, and although you can use these substitutes as often as you'd like for some temporary relief, you should avoid eating or drinking for at least 15 minutes after using them.
Have Plenty of Water or Liquids Around
Another way to tackle dry mouth is to simply have a lot of liquids around you and to drink lots of fluid regularly. Depending on how the radiation therapy has affected your salivary glands and taste buds, some beverages may taste disgusting. Try out different types of juices and flavored water to find something that is appetizing for you. You should avoid drinking coffee and tea, as they are diuretics and will only worsen your situation.
Consume Soft and Moist Foods
You can also easily get more liquid in your diet by eating soft and moist foods. Skip the bread and pastries and go for soup or proteins drenched or dipped in gravy or some type of broth instead. Choosing meals that have a higher water content in them is an easy way to keep your mouth moisturized at all times. Incorporate more stews, soups, yogurt, fruit shakes and even milkshakes into your diet.
Radiation therapy comes with a lot of unwanted side effects, as it takes a rather large toll on your body. Fortunately, there are many different ways that you can combat and tackle the side effects experienced. In particular, there are plenty of things you can do if you feel that the radiation therapy is causing you to have dry mouth. For more advice, contact a radiation specialist.