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Cancer is a disease which affects millions of people across the world. It can be treated with chemotherapy and radiation therapy, but these treatments (along with a weakened immune system) negatively impact the health of the body, including the mouth. Learn about the oral side effects of cancer and how they are treated.

Gum Disease

Chemotherapy could be the cause of swollen gums, but so could gum disease resulting from a weakened immune system. Your dentist may recommend the use of a mouthwash to fight this infection. These mouthwash types include antifungal, antibacterial, steroid, or anti-inflammatory.

Jaw Pain

This is a common result of radiation treatment which can inflame and scar the jaw muscles. Treatments include anti-inflammatory medication and jaw exercises.

Mouth Sores

Mouth sores formed because of a weak immune system and radiation can be painful. Use of a painkiller to numb the sores or a topical treatment to cover them can help. Also avoid crunchy, acidic, or spicy foods because they can irritate these sores.

Dry Mouth

Cancer therapy treatments can damage salivary glands and reduce saliva flow. This results in a sore throat, difficulty swallowing or speaking, and an increased risk of tooth decay. Your dentist may recommend a saliva substitute, a mouthwash, or drinking more water.