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 radiotherapy to the head and neck area.

This information was last reviewed in May 2016
View who reviewed this content
View our editorial policy

Support services

Coping with cancer?
Speak to a health professional or to someone who has been there, or find a support group or forum

Cancer Council Online Community
A community forum – a safe place to share stories, get tips and connect with people who understand

Cancer information

Learn more about chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill or slow the growth of cancer cells

What is cancer?
How cancer starts and spreads

SHARE
TOP BACK TO TOP