Problems in the mouth are usually related to GvHD and/or infection. Symptoms include sores in the mouth, a dry mouth and pain from spices, alcohol and flavourings, therefore good mouth and tooth care is essential. You may be referred to the dental school particually if you have graft versus host disease of the mouth.

Use fluoride toothpaste (most toothpastes are fluoride)

If you have cGvHD you may find your mouth is drier, this can be long term. The reduced saliva increases the risk of tooth decay; saliva is the key defence to reducing bacteria in the mouth.

Regular visits to the dentist: every 6 months if you have cGvHD of the mouth and yearly otherwise.

Note any painful areas and discuss with dental practitioner and transplant consultant.

Brush teeth after food and use a prescribed mouthwash or water to swill away food debris.

As a standard you will be referred to the dietician at one year post transplant. This can be a simple telephone conversation or a clinic appointment if you and the dietician feel it necessary.

Artificial saliva may help with dryness and the breakdown of food.

It is important to note any of the following; restriction when opening your mouth, chapped lips (use Vaseline), ulcers, swelling of gums (cyclosporin can also cause swelling of gums), redness and pain.

You may also become sensitive to spicy foods, toothpaste or fizzy drinks. All these symptoms can be discussed with the dentist and the transplant team.

Biopsies will need to be taken to diagnose GvHD and then treatment commenced and you may be referred to a dentist specialising in treating cancer patients.

See also Oral Health in this section.

Go to the top of the page

Print this page