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When you experience disease activity in your mouth it can be quite uncomfortable.  Patients may experience blisters anywhere inside the oral area: inside of cheeks, upper and underside of tongue, roof of mouth, and as far back as where the uvula is. The gums can peel as well.

Swallowing can be difficult. If this occurs for you, having anything soft is advised. For example, smoothies, yogurt, mashed potatoes, cream of wheat, etc. Avoiding citrus fruits is recommended, as that can agitate your oral lesions.

If your gums are peeling, ask your dermatologist if he/she can prescribe to you a topical corticosteroid. A ‘Magic Mouthwash’ can also be prescribed.

Try not to use alcohol-based mouthwashes as it can be uncomfortable to your lesions. Gentle toothpastes such as Sensodyne or Toms of Main can still be too harsh. If those products are irritating your lesions try going the old-fashioned route of using a paste of baking soda and water.

The use of straws is not recommended if you have flare-ups in the mouth as this can irritate them.

The IPPF suggests that you keep a food journal, so that if a flare-up occurs you can look at the list of foods you have consumed prior to the flare-up and determine which food or spice could be the culprit.

Keep your gums as healthy as possible by using a waterpik on a low speed, and use a very soft toothbrush. Regular dental checkups should be continued as normal, and if you’re going to have any dental work done advise your dermatologist. Depending on the level of activity you have and the medications you are taking, your dosage may be increased a few days prior and a few days after the procedure.  Advise your dentist of this, as well.

Remember, when you need us we are in your corner!

Mei Ling Moore – Peer Health Coach

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With Pemphigus and Pemphigoid, painful oral lesions frequently occur in the mouth and throat causing difficulty with drinking and eating solid foods. Let’s face it, it can be just painful! Assessing your individual tolerance to foods and adjusting what you are eating will enable you to better understand which foods to eat and which foods to avoid. For many, highly seasoned, acidic, or salty foods are irritating and those foods that are dry, sticky, or abrasive can be difficult to swallow. Extremes in temperatures of liquids or solids such as ice cream or hot chocolate may cause pain for some. In the case of severe mouth sores, use a blender or food processor is accessible.

Here are a few helpful hints to remember:

  • Drink liquids through a straw.
  • Cook coarse or hard foods, such as vegetables until they are soft and tender.
  • Soften or moisten foods by dipping them in gravies or cream sauces.
  • Take a swallow of a beverage with solid food.
  • Eat small frequent servings rather than a large amount of food at one time.
  • Rinse your mouth with water, peroxide, or Biotene during and after eating to help
  • Remove food and bacteria and to promote healing.

Having oral lesions can present many challenges including; pain management, oral hygiene, nutritional intake, and your overall health. Speak with your doctor about ways to help relieve the pain and ensure that they are monitoring you blood sugar levels if you are taking systemic steroids. Make sure that you inform your dentist of your condition and require them to use caution when treating you.

If you have difficulty swallowing and find yourself choking on food, see your doctor immediately. Ask to be seen by an ENT so they can help determine the extent of your disease activity. The mouth is often one of the most difficult areas to treat and requires diligence. Changing your behavior and habits can be the biggest “pain” but will eventually pay off. If you need help, encouragement, or suggestions…just “Ask a Coach“!

When you need us, we are in your corner!

Marc Yale – Peer Health Coach