Radiotherapy to the head and neck can cause side effects such as a sore mouth or throat and difficulty swallowing.
Your cancer team will give you advice, support and treatments to help you cope with any problems that develop. Treatments may include:
- mouthwashes or gels
- exercises to prevent jaw stiffness.
Follow your team’s advice carefully. Look at your mouth daily for signs of infection. You can ask your dentist or specialist nurse what to look for. Always tell them if your mouth is sore, or if you are finding it difficult to eat and drink. If you find that drinking makes you cough, tell them as soon as possible. We have more about coping with mouth problems during radiotherapy that you might find helpful.
Your team will also talk to you about mouthcare before and during your radiotherapy. Looking after your mouth can:
- help protect your teeth
- encourage tissue healing
- reduce the risk of problems in the future.