Treating oral mucositis

Pain is the hallmark symptom of oral mucositis (OM) but there are many ways that it can be managed and controlled. Oral hygiene is the most important aspect of oral mucositis treatment. Cleaning the mouth regularly and gently brushing the teeth twice a day and after every meal will help to improve the symptoms.




  • Mouth rinses – several mouth rinses are available to help moisten, sooth and heal the mouth but only Caphosol® is clinically proven to help prevent, reduce the duration and the pain of oral mucositis¹
  • Gels – gels form a protective barrier over the ulcers preventing direct contact with food and drink
  • Fluoride toothpaste – fluoride helps to strengthen the tooth enamel and protects against decay and infection
  • Floss – flossing between the teeth once a day helps keep the mouth free of infection, but check with your doctor or nurse first as flossing is not recommended for every patient 
  • Soft toothbrush – using a soft bristled toothbrush reduces the risk of bleeding. Using a new toothbrush each month and at the start of each chemotherapy cycle protects against infection
  • Ice cubes, lollies or ice-cream – sucking on ice soothes the mouth and helps to keep it moist. Ice cubes can be sharp, so check with your doctor before you use them 
  • Lip balms or creams – using lip balm helps keep the lips lubricated
  • Drinks – drinking plenty of fluids helps maintain mouth moisture. It is a good idea to take a glass of water to bed with you, so if you wake up in the night you are able to rinse your mouth and keep it moist 
  • Soft food – cooking solid food longer or even blending it reduces the pain of eating with oral mucositis
  • Pain medication – prescription drugs can help with pain
  • Smoking – irritation of the mouth can occur with smoking
  • Alcohol – drinking alcohol or using alcohol based mouth washes will irritate the lining of the mouth
  • Certain foods – tomatoes and foods that are acidic (such as citrus fruit), spicy, hot, rough or hard should be avoided. Find out more about the best foods to eat and to avoid in our diet & nutrition section
Learn more about Caphosol

Always speak to your doctor or nurse if you are worried about oral mucositis.

Download a managing oral mucositis patient factsheet for your own information and why not print out a nurse factsheet to give to your nurse.

For more information about Caphosol® visit
1. Papas AS et al. Bone Marrow Transplant 2003;31:705–712.