Managing Mouth Sores

Mouth and throat sores, also called mucositis, are common with certain types of chemotherapy and can limit your ability to eat, drink, chew and swallow. Sucking on ice chips, known as cryotherapy, can reduce exposure of the cells in your mouth to chemotherapy, and may thereby prevent mucositis. To avoid an increase in discomfort, if you suffer from mucositis, you may need to alter the way or types of things you eat.

Tips to Manage Mucositis:

  • Rinse your mouth frequently (about every 3 hours) with a salt and baking soda solution. Mix together 1 cup warm water, ¼ teaspoon baking soda and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Take small sips and swish.
  • Avoid spicy, hot or acidic foods and drinks, alcohol and smoking. Examples include: lemon or lime juice, pineapple, tomatoes, vinegar, hot-sauce, etc.
  • Prepare soft or tender foods such as soups, purees, porridge, and smoothies.
  • Try eating foods cold or at room temperature, to numb the mouth and avoid irritation.
  • Suck on frozen grapes as a substitute for ice cubes
  • Try slippery elm bark lozenges or aloe vera juice to coat your mouth and GI tract and ease discomfort.
  • If mucositis is severe, you may have difficulty meeting your nutrition needs. Make an appointment with your nutritionist to help you put together a good eating plan.

Contact Us

Nutrition Services

Dubin Breast Center
The Mount Sinai Hospital
Klingenstein Pavilion
1176 5th Avenue
New York, NY

Tel: 212-241-3300, option 4
212-241-0741