Oral Mucositis is a medical condition described as ulceration and inflammation of the mucous lining in mouth. This can commonly occur as a side effect of radiation or chemotherapy, offered as a part of cancer treatment. Patients with neck or head cancer usually receive chemotherapy or radiation therapy to treat the cancer. Such patients are at greater risk of developing oral mucositis in addition to ulcerations in the gastrointestinal tract. It is important to understand the causes and symptoms of oral mucositis. There are many home remedies available to teat oral mucositis.
Oral mucositis is basically characterized by painful ulcers and redness in mouth, bleeding from mouth and gums in addition to oral infection. In oral mucositis, eating and swallowing becomes difficult, owing to severe pain in the mouth and throat. This can lead to reduced appetite, resulting in weight loss and also increases the risk of dehydration.
Besides this, patients with oral mucositis are also likely to develop super-added fungal infection through the break in protective mucus lining in their mouth. Hence, it is important to treat oral mucositis, at the earliest and reduce complications. There are many oral mucositis home remedies available that can treat signs and symptoms of the condition naturally.
What Causes Oral Mucositis?
The gastrointestinal system is protected by a thin membrane, called the mucus membrane. Some agents, illnesses or other problems can cause irritation, inflammation and ulceration in the mucus membrane. When this occurs in the oral cavity, it results in oral mucositis.
Some of the Causes of Oral Mucositis Includes:
Oral Mucositis Caused Due to Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are one of the major causes of oral mucositis. Oral mucositis, usually occurs in patients receiving chemotherapy or radiation therapy to treat cancer of neck or head. The patients who receive radiation therapy for cancer of oral cavity or in adjacent structures can have serious form of mucositis. Oral mucositis is considered as one of the side effect of these therapies used for treating a variety of cancers.
Chemotherapy and radiation usually obstructs and injures the epithelial cells of oral mucus membrane. The drugs used in cancer treatment also decrease immunity and cause significant growth in bacteria and fungus which causes oral mucositis.
Other factors, which can cause oral mucositis or increase the risk of oral mucositis include,
Poor Oral Care Can Cause Oral Mucositis:
Improper hygiene, not maintaining proper oral care during dental treatment or during chemotherapy, brushing and cleaning after meals, can invite micro-organisms, which can cause oral mucositis.
Diet and Lifestyle Can Influence Oral Mucositis
Tobacco chewing, alcohol or consuming spicy foods can destroy the protective membrane in mouth and cause oral mucositis.
Oral Mucositis Caused Due to Nutritional Deficiency:
Lack of nutrients in diet can leave the body deprived of adequate nutrients, reduce immunity and can be a cause of oral mucositis.
Dehydration or dry mouth can increase risk of oral mucositis
Continuous oxygen therapy can sometimes act as a cause of oral mucositis.
Home Remedies for Oral Mucositis
Some home remedies for oral mucositis are proved to be helpful in improving the condition naturally. These home remedies can ameliorate pain, provide relief from symptoms of oral mucositis and also help to heal ulcers.
Honey – Best Home Remedy for Oral Mucositis
One of the most effective and age-old home remedies for oral mucositis includes honey. It is considered to be the natural barrier that safeguards the oral mucus membrane as well as lessens the pain; as honey has mild anti-inflammatory properties. Honey is also globally acclaimed as natural and most efficient anti-bacterial agent that effectively protects the oral cavity from the attack of germs and infections.
Maintaining Oral Hygiene is the Best Home Remedy for Oral Mucositis:
Brushing teeth at least four times a day using top grade soft bristle toothbrush will keep the oral cavity clean and the mouth fully moist, preventing infection from developing in oral cavity. Brushing teeth before bedtime is crucial to eradicate germs infection causing germs that develop in the mouth during sleep.
Home Remedy for Oral Mucositis Using Salt Water:
Rinsing your mouth at regular interval of time is also equally essential. Use salt water to rinse your mouth at least 2-3 times a day to fight the symptoms of oral mucositis. There may be irritation or mild pain due to oral mucositis. Salt water is considered to be the most effectual home remedy because it comprises the anti-bacterial properties that can reduce pain and irritation.
Placing few ice chips into the mouth can also make the oral cavity numb and help to alleviate the pain temporarily.
Avoid Spicy Food:
Avoid eating hot and spicy food items until oral mucositis is treated completely. Citrus fruits are also best avoided as they can aggravate the condition.
Baking Soda as a Home Remedy for Oral Mucositis:
Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda and pinch of salt into a glass of plain water. Mix these ingredients until the mixture is dissolved completely. Rinse the mouth with the mixture of water 2-3 times a day.
These are some of the tried and tested home remedies for oral mucositis.