Radiation therapy to treat oral, nasal head or neck cancer?
- Trismus--Limited oral opening. Develops slowly over the first year after radiation therapy.
- Xerostomia--Dry mouth, lack of saliva. Caused by damage to the salivary glands from the radiation.
- Radiation burns on the skin and mucosa lining of the mouth and nose.
Xerostomia, or dry mouth, is also a common side-effect from radiation to the mouth and salivary glands. In special cases, there are a few options for your doctor to help prevent xerostomia with surgery or drugs to prevent damage to the salivary glands. However, you may still suffer from xerostomia after radiation. There are a number of available oral washes, like Biotene, available to treat and minimize the problems from xerostomia; but many patients prefer simply sipping on water or ice chips to help. Here are some links to learn more about: