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Topic: mouthwash and chemo

Forum: Chemotherapy - Before, During, and After —

Regimens, side effects, and support from others going through chemo.

Posted on: Feb 18, 2010 09:07AM

BCWarrior wrote:

Can't seem to find the straight scoop on mouthwash. Can anyone tell me which brands to stay away from and which ones may help mouth sores?

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Feb 18, 2010 10:29AM NatureGrrl wrote:

I was told to stay away from any mouthwash with alcohol as it will aggravate mouth sores.  I don't remember names of ones to recommend, however.  I know there are some standard brands that put out a mouthwash without alcohol, and the label usually says it in big print, so you should be able to find it at a drug store or box store.

I used Mary's Magic Mouthwash, which wasn't a mouthwash but a combination of meds, for my mouth sores.  It helped a lot.

I'm sure others will chime in with more specific recommendations.  Mouth sores HURT!  Good luck!

Carol, living out loud! fire-of-our-hope.blogspot.com/ Dx 4/2009, IDC, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/17 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Feb 18, 2010 10:33AM Texas357 wrote:

Look for one that's alcohol-free. I bought the CVS brand.

DX 9/08, ILC, Stage 3A, ER+/PR+, HER2-, 7/13 pos nodes. Mastectomy & six months chemo & 32 rads.Prophy mx 8/09. Implant only on proph side; LD flap on rad side. 13 surgeries since diagnosis.
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Feb 18, 2010 10:34AM Kathy16 wrote:

A great mouthwash (and toothpaste) to use during chemo is biotene - available at most major chain drug stores.  It says "for dry mouth" but it's alcohol free and tastes good.  I used it during 4 cycles of T/C and did not have a problem with mouth sores.  I used it a couple of times per day preventatively.

1st BC May 2009 2 cm IDC, 3/17 nodes, E+, Stage II - T/C x 4 - then 2nd primary ILC found November 2009 less than 1 cm 0/16 nodes. Low oncotype and no more chemo needed, just tamoxifen.
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Feb 18, 2010 10:35AM mommy2two wrote:

My doctor prescribed Magic Mouthwash which helped out with my mouth sores after my first tx.  I also used Biotene mouthwash several times a day throughout the remainder of chemo and never got another sore.

Dx 8/11/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 18, 2010 11:05PM lovetosail wrote:

I chime in for biotene toothpaste and mouthwaste to prevent sores. If you get a sore, I hear the gel clears it up right away.  I've been lucky with no sores!

good luck!

Dx 10/19/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Feb 19, 2010 09:18PM 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 2008, IDC, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Feb 19, 2010 09:54PM ruthbru wrote:

Biotene was recommeded to me by my dentist as a good 'chemo' mouthwash, I liked it so much that I still use it. Good Luck!

"Invisible threads are the strongest ties." Friedrich Nietzsche Dx 2/2007, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Feb 26, 2010 11:34AM richardgrimball wrote:

Hi BCWarrior, I know mouth sores can be terrible during chemo and radiation therapy. A friend of mine used the products EVOMUCY mouth rinse and EVOMUCY mouth rinse spray and saw great results. Another friend of mine used EVODRY hydrating spray for dry mouth. You should visit www.myevolife.com for the complete list of products. These are natural mineral products from France specially for patients on chemo/radiation. I have personally seen them work really well. I hope this is of the help to you and anyone else reading this post with the same issues.

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Feb 26, 2010 11:43AM faithfulc wrote:

I just had my second TC treatment (out of 6).  So far so good.  I use my regular tooth brush (Sonicare) with Biotene toothpaste and mouth wash right after every meal.  (Of course floss first.)  Then everyday I rinse and gargle with warm salt water first in the morning and last thing before bed.

Lumpectomy 12/23/2009. Reexcision/port 1/15/2010. TC 6x finished 5/19. Rads finished 8/5. "De-ported" 9/3. Oncotype 9. BRCA1/2 neg. Fareston started 10/2010. Dx 12/9/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 3/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-

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