Sore Mouth and Throat

Some of these suggestions may not be appropriate if you are on a special diet.

  • Drink plenty of fluids. A minimum of eight glasses per day is recommended. Grape juice, apple juice, milk, sports drinks, and sweetened drinks are good choices.

  • Very cold drinks or frozen treats (ice chips, Popsicles, sherbet, or frozen juice drinks) may help ease the pain temporarily.

  • Rinse your mouth regularly with warm tap water, a mixture of 1⁄2 teaspoon salt to 1 cup of water, or a mixture of 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda to 1 cup of water.

  • Apply moisturizer to lips to prevent dryness (K-Y jelly, Surgilube, Carmex, Boraflex).

  • Cook foods until they are soft and tender using moist heat cooking. Add fluid during cooking, cover with a lid, serve with sauce or gravy.

  • Add moisture to solid foods (gravy, sauce, dips, broth, salad dressing, yogurt, mayonnaise, applesauce, or butter).

  • Try using a blender or hand masher to soften foods. Add broth or milk to finely chopped foods and blend or mash.

  • Avoid extremely hot foods and beverages, because they may irritate your mouth.

  • Avoid acidic foods and beverages (citrus fruits and fruit juices such as orange, lemon, grapefruit, and tomato products), and any products containing alcohol (mouthwash, cough medicines, alcoholic beverages).

  • Avoid very spicy or salty foods (salsa, hot peppers, chili, blackened foods, barbecue).

  • Avoid rough, irritating foods (raw vegetables, granola, crackers, nuts, seeds).

  • Use a straw to drink liquids, and a cup or glass instead of a bowl and spoon for soup.

  • Try soft foods that are easy to chew and swallow, such as milkshakes, bananas, applesauce, canned fruit, watermelon, cantaloupe, cottage cheese, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese, custards, puddings, gelatin, scrambled eggs, egg salad, cooked cereal, creamed soup, pies, cheesecake, casseroles, and yogurt.

  • Ask your doctor about anesthetic lozenges, swishes, and sprays that can numb your mouth and throat long enough for you to eat meals.

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