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Multiple Myeloma an incurable disease, but I have spent the last 25 years in remission using a blend of conventional oncology and evidence-based nutrition, supplementation, and lifestyle therapies from peer-reviewed studies that your oncologist probably hasn't told you about.

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Multiple Myeloma- Xerostomia-Dry Mouth

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“Xerostomia can lead to speech and eating difficulties, halitosis (bad breath), an increase in the number of dental cavities (saliva helps prevent tooth decay), and infections in the mouth, such as thrush…”

I was first diagnosed with multiple myeloma in ’94. After Dr. Emory surgically removed the lesion in my fifth cervical vertebra, I underwent local radiation therapy to the area, about three inches below my chin- to “clean up” any multiple myeloma in the area.

At the time I had no idea that the radiation would damage my salivary glands  causing a long-term multiple myeloma side effect that I would spend the next 25 plus years struggling with- dry mouth.

For the record, my case is manageable. I have read about cases that are much more serious than mine. Serious radiation-induced dry mouth can cause your gums to recede and your teeth to fall out.

According to the article linked and excerpted below, dry mouth is a common side effect of many medicines.

 

Whether or not you are a multiple myeloma survivor, if you think you have dry mouth aka xerostomia, my suggestion is to chew all natural, sugarless, xylitol-based, Spry chewing gum occasionally throughout your day.

Yes, you should see a doctor, and yes, you may want to undergo more serious, long-term therapies to heal this long-term multiple myeloma side effect. But chewing all natural gum is a healthy and functional fix that is at least a temporary cure give you time to figure out a long-term plan.

If you simply buy a pack of gum at the store you may run out in a few days. By buying the Spry ‘Five Flavors’ Xylitol Gum Pack, you will save yourself money and fix the problem, at least in the short term.

Put one flavor/jar in the kitchen junk drawer, one flavor in your car, one flavor upstairs, one downstairs and even one at your workplace. You will always be dry-mouth-ready.

I think that six months of acupuncture has moderated my multiple myeloma side effect, dry mouth, to where I am able to manage it pretty well.

I am both a MM survivor and MM cancer coach. For more information about managing the collateral damage, multiple myeloma side effects, scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply ASAP.

Thank you,

David Emerson

  • MM Survivor
  • MM Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:


What is dry mouth (xerostomia)? What causes dry mouth?

“Xerostomia (multiple myeloma side effect) can lead to speech and eating difficulties, halitosis (bad breath), an increase in the number of dental cavities (saliva helps prevent tooth decay), and infections in the mouth, such as thrush. An individual with xerostomia typically finds it harder to enjoy food.

Xerostomia is a common problem. It is frequently a side effect of medication, which may improve with a new prescription or an adjustment of dosage…

Some patients may think dry mouth is a normal part of aging – it is not. It is, however, more commonly found among the elderly. Experts say the main reason is that elderly people take more medications compared to the rest of the population, and some of these medications cause xerostomia…

Xerostomia may be a symptom of a serious systemic disease, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritisscleroderma, sarcoidosis, amyloidosis, Sjogren’s syndrome and hypothyroidism. A systemic disease is one that affects the entire body…

  • What are the signs and symptoms of Xerostomia (dry mouth)?
  • What are the causes of xerostomia (dry mouth)?
  • What are the treatment options for xerostomia (dry mouth)?
  • Diagnosing xerostomia (dry mouth)

“Xlear Spry ‘Five Flavors’ Xylitol Gum Pack – ALL FLAVORS!!!

  • All Natural – No Gmo’s and Promotes Dental Health!!
  • Sugarless & No Aftertaste!!!
  • Safe for Diabetics & Hypoglycemics!!!
  • Spearmint, Fresh Fruit, Peppermint, Greentea & Cinnamon”

Dry mouth treatment: Tips for controlling dry mouth

“To relieve your dry mouth:

  • Chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free hard candies to stimulate the flow of saliva. For some people, xylitol, which is often found in sugar-free gum or sugar-free candies, may cause diarrhea or cramps if consumed in large amounts.
  • Limit your caffeine intake because caffeine can make your mouth drier.
  • Don’t use mouthwashes that contain alcohol because they can be drying.
  • Stop all tobacco use if you smoke or chew tobacco.
  • Sip water regularly.
  • Try over-the-counter saliva substitutes — look for products containing xylitol, such as Mouth Kote or Oasis Moisturizing Mouth Spray, or ones containing carboxymethylcellulose (kahr-bok-see-meth-ul-SEL-u-lohs) or hydroxyethyl cellulose (hi-drok-see-ETH-ul SEL-u-lohs), such as Biotene Oral Balance.
  • Try a mouthwash designed for dry mouth — especially one that contains xylitol, such as Biotene Dry Mouth Oral Rinse or ACT Total Care Dry Mouth Mouthwash, which also offers protection against tooth decay.
  • Avoid using over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants because they can make your symptoms worse.
  • Breathe through your nose, not your mouth.
  • Add moisture to the air at night with a room humidifier.

Saliva is important to maintain the health of your teeth and mouth. If you frequently have a dry mouth, taking these steps to protect your oral health may also help your condition:

  • Avoid sugary or acidic foods and drinks because they increase your risk of tooth decay.
  • Brush with a fluoride toothpaste — ask your dentist if you might benefit from prescription fluoride toothpaste.
  • Use a fluoride rinse or brush-on fluoride gel before bedtime. Occasionally a custom-fit fluoride applicator (made by your dentist) can make this more effective.
  • Visit your dentist at least twice yearly to detect and treat tooth decay or other dental problems.

“Gum containing xylitol has been discovered to have many benefits, including fighting cavities… Xylitol can also help prevent osteoporosis by re-mineralizing tooth enamel…”

I received local radiation to my neck (C5 area) in early 1994. I underwent surgery to remove a lesion caused by my cancer- multiple myeloma. The local radiation was supposed to “clean-up the area.” Meaning it would kill any stray monoclonal protein cells aka MM cells still in the area after the surgical removal of the lesion.

About eight (8) years passed before I figured out that I developed dry mouth aka radiation-induced xerostomia.

Long-story short, I figured out the side effect itself but more importantly, I figured out two important therapies to help you manage your dry mouth.

 

While acupuncture was my long-term solution to this late stage side effect, the issue of this post is managing dry mouth in the short term. If you are like me, you have no idea about this health problem and figure out something is wrong with your mouth only after some form of damage has occurred.

Maybe a tooth falls out or you notice your gums receding. Both of which you must address immediately. If xerostomia is already causing you injury, my advice can be summed up with one word- xylitol. Both toothpaste and gum.

As you can read from the info linked and excerpted below, xylitol gum has been shown to remineralize tooth enamel, prevent tooth decay, increase bone mineral density to name a few benefits. Please also read up on possible negative side effects as well.

I found that chewing gum sparked my mouth to produce saliva. By purchasing the five pack, pictured above, I found that I could always have a couple of pieces of gum handy- in my car, in my kitchen, etc. And the variety pack provides a variety of flavors so I didn’t get tired of any single flavor.

My long-term therapy for xerostomia was acupuncture. But that process required appointments every couple of weeks for several months. Not a short-term fix…

Do you have radiation-induced xerostomia? If you have questions or comments please scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.

Thank you,

David Emerson

  • Myeloma Survivor
  • Myeloma Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:

  1. Radiation-induced Xerostomia- Dry Mouth

Benefits and Harmful effects of Xylitol Gum

Benefits and Harmful effects of Xylitol Gum

Xylitol is another one of those sweeteners that are found in Nature. Gum containing xylitol has been discovered to have many benefits, including fighting cavities, ear infections, yeast infections, and fungal infections. Xylitol can also help prevent osteoporosis by re-mineralizing tooth enamel after eating sugary and acidic foods that damage tooth enamel.

Prevents tooth decay:

Xylitol is a natural sweetener that helps prevent cavities. It does this by reducing the ability of plaque bacteria to make acids and thereby dissolve our enamel and/or dentin (the bony material beneath the enamel) and to stick to teeth.

Thus, chewing gum containing xylitol results in less plaque build-up. It has also been found that the use of xylitol instead of sugar may reduce tooth decay by 40 percent (reference).

Prevents ear infections:

Xylitol helps prevent otitis media (middle ear infections), which are one of the most common childhood diseases.

Prevents yeast infections:

Xylitol has beneficial effects on vaginal epithelial cells and may protect against candida Albicans (yeast) infections by keeping the blood sugar level of these cells low. For women, this means that chewing gum sweetened with xylitol may help prevent yeast infections in general by keeping their blood sugar levels low.

Prevents fungal infections:

Xylitol has been found to be effective against several fungi and yeasts, including Candida Albicans. For example, researchers have found that xylitol inhibits the growth of bacteria and several other microorganisms (reference).

 Re-mineralizes tooth enamel:

Xylitol helps re-mineralize tooth enamel, which can repair microscopic cavities. It does this by stimulating saliva production, which results in the presence of calcium and other minerals that help repair damage to our teeth (reference).

 Helps prevent osteoporosis:

Xylitol has been shown to significantly increase bone mineral density in research studies. It also helps prevent osteoporosis by inducing osteoblasts (cells that form bone) to differentiate into mature, functional osteocytes (bone cells), thus helping prevent the loss of bone mass. For example, it has been shown that xylitol prevents ovariectomy-induced osteopenia in animals (reference).

 May help prevent Alzheimer’s disease:

Xylitol may be helpful for sufferers of Alzheimer’s by stabilizing metabolic processes in the brain, improving memory retention, and preventing neuron loss.

xylitol side effects:

xylitol side effects can include constipation, diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, and vomiting. It is not recommended for people with liver problems because it could worsen the condition. Xylitol should also be avoided by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Side effects may include headaches, fatigue, and weakness if you consume too much xylitol.

Xylitol is a sugar substitute that is considered safe for people with diabetes, as it has a minimal effect on blood glucose levels and insulin secretion. However, too much xylitol can be dangerous for some diabetics. People who have had gastric bypass surgery should not use large amounts of xylitol because the substance can cause problems with the digestive system.

Xylitol side effects can include gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. The substance may cause headaches or fatigue in some people who consume too much of it. Xylitol should not be used by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding because there is a lack of sufficient data about its effects on developing fetuses and nursing infants.

Xylitol side effects may include gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. The substance may also cause headaches or fatigue in some people who consume too much of it.

Xylitol should not be used by pregnant women or those who are breastfeeding because there is a lack of sufficient data about its effects on developing fetuses and nursing infants.

Xylitol side effects may include gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. The substance may cause headaches or fatigue in some people who consume too much of it…

Harmful effects of xylitol:

Xylitol is a sugar substitute that is considered safe for people with diabetes, as it has a minimal effect on blood glucose levels and insulin secretion. However, too much xylitol can be dangerous for some diabetics. People who have had gastric bypass surgery should not use large amounts of xylitol because the substance can cause problems with the digestive system.

Xylitol side effects may include gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. The substance may also cause headaches or fatigue in some people who consume too much of it.

Xylitol should not be used by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding because there is a lack of sufficient data about its effects on developing fetuses and nursing infants.”

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