- Cancer Information
- Managing side effects
- Mouth health and cancer treatment
- Taking care of your mouth before treatment
Taking care of your mouth before treatment
Good oral care will help protect your teeth, reduce discomfort and help your mouth heal more quickly.
Before treatment, you can take care of your mouth by:
- eating a balanced, nutritious diet including a variety of foods from the five food groups – fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, meat (or alternatives) and dairy (or alternatives)
- quitting smoking – call Quitline 13 7848 or talk to your doctor
- learning how to care for your mouth during and after treatment – ask your dentist or healthcare team for advice.
During treatment, it may not be recommended to have dental work due to a higher risk of infection and bleeding.
|If possible, see a dentist before starting cancer treatment. You may need to see a dentist to develop an oral care plan. This is especially important if you already have mouth problems or tooth decay, or if you are having high-dose chemotherapy, a stem cell transplant or radiation therapy to the head and neck area.|
This information was developed in May 2016 and reviewed by: Professor Richard Logan, Oral Pathology and Deputy Head of School, School of Dentistry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Adelaide, SA, Dr Sharon Liberali, Director and Consultant, Special Needs Unit, Adelaide Dental Hospital, SA Dental Service, Megan Nutt, Head and Neck Cancer Specialist Nurse, Canberra Region Cancer Centre, Canberra Hospital, ACT, Katherine Garner, Radiation Oncology Dietitian, Northern NSW Cancer Institute, Robyn Burnett, Speech Pathologist, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Mary Mills, Head and Neck Cancer Survivor, Karen Hall, Clinical Nurse, Flinders Medical Centre and 13 11 20 nurse SA.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.
Click below to download a PDF booklet on this topic.