Download our leaflet here

Good oral hygiene is very important during your cancer treatment

  • Keep your mouth clean with regular mouthwashes and gargles

  • Make sure you use an alcohol-free mouthwash

  • Your treatment centre may recommend specific products for mouth care

  • Drink plenty of fluids

  • Using a straw may make drinking easier

Tips for coping with a sore mouth

  • Very hot or very cold foods may irritate your mouth, e.g. ice cream straight from the freezer, piping hot drinks or soup. Cool or room temperature food and drink may be soothing

  • Salty, spicy or acidic foods or drinks can irritate a sore mouth, e.g. crisps, curry, vinegar, oranges or fruit juice

  • Ask a health professional about pain relief to take before meals.


Tips for coping with a dry or coated mouth

  • Sip fluid frequently

  • Ice cubes and lollies may be refreshing

  • Sucking pineapple chunks may help (unless your mouth is also sore)

  • Try sugar-free boiled sweets or gum to stimulate saliva production

  • Ask a healthcare professional about using artificial saliva gel or spray.


If your mouth is sore or uncomfortable it is important to have a health care professional check it to rule out oral thrush. This is a common problem during treatment and is usually easy to treat.