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Dry Mouth

Lots of HNC patients have continuous “dry mouth”. Some carry spray bottles to mist the throat while others carry a small bottle with a mild tea with them.

Scott Doneen posted:

I find that sparkling water, or a combination of sparkling water and a citric juice is the best while going though the day. I also found that Perrier was better than Peligrino which has finer bubbles.
A patient at UCLA suggested that I try milk with a little root beer or cola for washing down food and cutting any pain/discomfort from spices. It has been the best tip I have gotten to date. I use 1% to cut down on fat intake.

Joe Lapides – President of HNC posted:

Dry mouth has and is a condition and cased by the effects of radiation therapy. I am a 5 year survivor and I still live with dry mouth. Not as much as when I was a 1 or 2 year but still have dry mouth.

Products such as “Biotene” which is sold in most CVS or Walgreen type stores is helpful. It comes in various forms, mouthwash, gum and toothpaste.
I carry bottled water and at home if I am having a bad dry mouth day, Pelligrino or any other sparkling water helps erase the paste like feeling at least temporarily.

On another note: Dry mouth also opens the door for rapid tooth decay so you should be very vigilant in caring for your teeth.
Hope you find this helpful.

Arleigh Cole posted:

As I mentioned at our last meeting, my night time dry mouth has been what I would call severe, although admittedly tame compared to most members of this group as I had no radiation therapy and now only experience it at night. This however solved my night time dry mouth and I offer it in the hope it will help.
I accidentally discovered that a small slice of dried pineapple would solve my problem. I know this works for me but didn’t know if it would help anyone else. Mona-Lisa tried it this week and found that it works amazingly well for her.

I take a single slice of dried unsugared pineapple and slice slivers about the thickness of my finger nail, not much thicker, place it between my gums and cheek on the top side of my mouth as high as I can push it up and leave it there all night. It continues to stimulate my saliva glands all night and I wake in the morning with wet mouth and a small bite of pineapple to chew on before breakfast.

Dry mouth was a problem for me immediately after the operation and ever since. I wish I had tried this when I was still in ICU. People going into any operation should know that Nurses have a variety of ways to help with dry mouth and all they need to do is ask. It took me three days to discover this and dry mouth was worse for me than the after effects of my operation.

Hope this helps. It really helped us.

ALOE DROPS – Helping to keep the throat and mouth moist.
One of our members came across this item and swears by them. We sampled the drops at one of our meetings and concur. While not a panacea, they certainly do assist keeping the mouth moist. And they taste pretty darn good, to boot!