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Feb 20, 2010 02:18AM otter wrote:
BCWarrior, you can't get the straight scoop on mouthwash because there are differences of opinion. Unfortunately, that's the case with almost everything having to do with diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
I had 4 rounds of Taxotere & Cytoxan, and my mouth and tongue got really sore with each treatment. Just about the time it would heal up, it would be time for the next treatment. But, I never developed sore spots (ulcers) -- it was just an overall tenderness. (That's an understatement. Some days, I could hardly put anything sharper than a glob of pudding or jello in my mouth!)
The guidelines I'd been given pre-chemo said not to use any mouthwash that contained alcohol (as others here have said). The guidelines also said to call my onco if I developed sores or white spots (thrush) in my mouth. When I met with my onco after my first round of TC, I told her about how sore my mouth had become. I said I'd bought some "Oasis" (a mild, alcohol-free, "moisturizing" mouthwash). She grinned and said not to waste my money.
Her recommendation was to mix up a solution of table salt and baking soda in a glass of lukewarm water, and rinse my mouth and gargle with that. I think the recipe was approx. 1/2 teaspoon of each in an 8-oz. glass of water. She said to rinse frequently -- every few hours, or at least several times a day; and that would help soothe the soreness and prevent infections.
That's all I ever used, but I rinsed my mouth every 2 or 3 hours during those especially bad days. I never developed any sore spots/ulcers, and never needed any "magic mouthwash."
The other important thing is to use an extra-soft toothbrush and mild toothpaste, and brush your teeth often. For many of us, a "soft" toothbrush wasn't soft enough. Brush often (3x per day or more), but be very gentle. I didn't buy special toothpaste (like Biotene); I just used my regular Colgate toothpaste, which doesn't cause any "tingling" or have a spicy taste.
Dx IDC, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-