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Feb 19, 2010 08:18PM
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.
2008, IDC, Stage Ia, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-