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Anatomy of the oral mucosa

Oral mucosaThe oral mucosa is the “skin” inside the mouth, and covers most of the oral cavity apart from the teeth. Its main purpose is to act as a barrier, protecting the deeper tissues such as fat, muscle, nerve and blood supplies. The oral mucosa consists of two layers: the corium (or lamina propria) and the epithelium.

For more information, see The corium and submucosa.

Oral mucositis

MucositisOral mucositis refers to an inflammatory, erosive, and/or ulcerative process inside the mouth, usually caused by radiation or chemotherapy. It can cause severe pain and difficulty eating, and can seriously effect a person’s quality of life, nutritional intake, and treatment for cancer.

For more information, see Oral Mucositis.

Video: Mucositis

Mucositis videoMucositis is a side effect of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Dr Dorothy Keefe talks about the risk factors for mucositis, the effects, current treatments and new developments in the study of mucositis.

Watch the video Mucositis.

Treatments for oral mucositis

Mucositis treatmentsEducation is highly important for people with oral mucositis, so that they understand what to expect, and also that it is manageable. Pain can significantly affect nutritional intake, ability to maintain oral hygiene and quality of life. Management of pain is essential for anyone with mucositis.

For more information, see Oral Mucositis: How is it Treated?

Oral mucositis and nutrition

Mucositis and nutritionMucositis can have a devastating effect on a person’s nutritional status, because the oral pain associated with the condition often prevents individuals from eating solid food, and sometimes even from swallowing. In very severe cases, an individual’s cancer treatment must be interrupted to allow the oral mucosa to heal and eating to recommence. In other cases a person may require parenteral or enteral nutrition.

For more information, see Oral Mucositis and Nutrition.

Dental hygiene

Dental hygieneGood dental hygiene means getting into the routine of thoroughly cleaning the mouth at least once or twice a day, though preferably after every meal. Some important aspects of keeping teeth clean include brushing, flossing, mouthwashes, and other adjuncts to maintaining good dental health.

For more information, see Dental Hygiene.

Gelclair barrier device

Gelclair barrier deviceGelclair is a product used to provide pain relief to patients with conditions involving damage to the mucous membranes of the mouth. It can also be used to relieve pain associated with wounds or lesions in the mouth, for example following dental surgery.

For more information, see Gelclair Barrier Device for Oral Mucositis.

Oral mucositis and quality of life

Mucositis and quality of lifeQuality of life refers to the extent to which a person perceives they are able function in a normal and healthy manner. It includes physical, emotional, social and functional well-being. Oral mucositis results in many, often serious, symptoms, which may influence different aspects of an individual’s quality of life. These include pain, hoarseness, and the need to spend more time on oral hygiene.

For more information, see Oral Mucositis and Quality of Life.

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Posted On: 26 November, 2009
Modified On: 30 March, 2017

Created by: myVMC