Mouth and/or throat sores

Mucositis is defined as the inflammation of the mucosa of the mouth and/or throat and the appearance of sores, usually as a reaction to some cancer treatments. This symptom can appear at different stages of treatment and in different degrees, causing pain and discomfort when eating. It is generally recommended that patients modify the texture of food and other preparations.


To avoid irritation and discomfort, use non-irritating toothpaste and soft toothbrushes and dental floss. Rinse your mouth with mouthwash.

  • When the mucositis is mild, eat soft textured or easy to chew foods (stews, soups, purées, caramel puddings, soft cheeses, ripe and sweet fruits, overcooked and brothy pasta and rice dishes, very tender fish, and meats). Cook foods until they are soft and garnish them with sauces, broths or juices, especially drier foods, to help swallowing. Cut ingredients into small pieces and chew slowly.
  • In severe cases, it may be necessary to blend food to obtain an easy-to-swallow texture.

Heat can further irritate the mucosa.

Drink around two litres of water, herbal teas, non-acidic fruit juices, broths, jellies, ice lollies… If it is painful, take small sips throughout the day and use a straw to direct the liquids to the less painful areas.

  • Alcoholic drinks, coffee, fizzy drinks and other acidic or irritating soft drinks (cola drinks).
  • Acidic foods (tomato, raw pepper, kiwi, lemon, orange, strawberry, tangerine, mango, pineapple, vinegar, vinegared foods…).
  • Highly seasoned, spicy or salty foods.
  • Dry or thick foods (crusted bread, toast, biscuits, sticks, dried fruit, dry biscuits, crisps, dry or very cured cheeses and baked or gratin-type dishes).
  • Sticky foods (such as thick mashed potatoes, croquettes, banana, chocolate…).
  • Fibrous foods, such as some grilled meats, and asparagus.
Before meals, numb the mouth with crushed ice, very cold water, jellies, or ice cream to reduce pain.

Choose small-volume meals and foods with high nutritional value. Try to maintain intake and remember the importance of ensuring a complete and adequate diet.

Keep your lips moisturized with lip balm or olive oil to prevent them from chapping or drying out.

Mucositis is not conditioned by the performance of daily hygienic measures (mouthwashes), but these can help relieve discomfort.