Oral mucositis: inflammation and ulceration of the mucous membranes; can increase the risk for pain, oral and systemic infection, and nutritional compromise.
Infection: viral, bacterial, and fungal; results from myelosuppression, xerostomia, and/or damage to the mucosa from chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
Salivary Dysfunction: dryness of the mouth due to thickened, reduced, or absent salivary flow; increases the risk of infection and compromises speaking, chewing, and swallowing. Medications other than chemotherapy can also cause salivary gland dysfunction. Persistent dry mouth increases the risk for dental caries.
Functional disabilities: impaired ability to eat, taste, swallow, and speak because of mucositis, dry mouth, trismus, and infection.
Taste alterations: Changes in taste perception of foods, ranging from unpleasant to tasteless.
Nutritional compromise: poor nutrition from eating difficulties caused by mucositis, dry mouth, dysphagia, and loss of taste.
Abnormal dental development: altered tooth development, craniofacial growth, or skeletal development in children secondary to radiotherapy and/or high doses of chemotherapy before age 9.