Mu-Co-What-Tis?! What It Means When Your Dentist Says You Have Mucositis

28 September 2016
 Categories: Dentist, Blog

The dentist is scary enough without them telling you there's something wrong with your teeth. While hearing something is wrong is not the best feeling in the world it's a good idea to learn about it so you know what it means and what you can do about it. So here is what it means if your dentist says you have mucositis.

What Causes Mucositis?

Mucositis is the inflammation of your mucous membranes in your mouth and digestive tract. It can be very painful and create sores in the mouth that make it difficult to maintain your quality of life. The most common cause of mucositis is treatment for cancer including radiation and chemotherapy. There are other things that can cause this often painful oral ailment. If someone uses tobacco and alcohol habitually they can develop mucositis. The same is true if someone has an infection because of bacteria or a virus then it can cause mucositis, and if you have an allergic reaction to food.

What Are Some of the Signs?

There are several signs that will tell you or your dentist that you have mucositis. These can include swollen gums, soreness in your mouth and throat, bleeding in the mouth, sores on the gum or tongue, and trouble swallowing. Some of these symptoms lead to bigger problems like not being able to eat properly and suffering malnutrition or being sick often.

How Is It Treated?

Treatments for mucositis vary depending on the cause, but all of them include good oral health by you and painkillers to help with the soreness in your mouth and throat. The pain killer should help you start to eat normally again and clear up the sores that are giving you so much trouble.  Some other things you can do to help with the soreness and mouth sores on your own is to suck on ice before and after going in for chemotherapy. You can also use a mouthwash that has lidocaine in it which helps to combat mouth sores.

Taking preventative measures when you have to have cancer treatments can be difficult, but if you try to make sure to maintain good oral health when you know you have to go to treatment you can at least lessen the severity of the mucositis making it easier to treat. If you are seeing a dentist, such as George J Mendel DMD, regularly and taking care of your teeth, then you are doing all you can do to try and prevent mucositis.