Oral mucositis is a common and debilitating complication of cancer treatment caused by the disruption of rapidly dividing epithelial progenitor cells.
Mucositis can occur anywhere along the gastrointestinal tract, but oral mucositis refers to that particular painful inflammation and ulceration which occurs in the mucous membranes of the mouth.
The consequences of mucositis are far-reaching and include chemotherapy dose reductions, breaks in radiation treatment, cessation of cancer therapy, reliance on parenteral nutrition, administration of narcotics, hospitalization, and morbidity.
Sonis. J Support Oncol 2004;2(Suppl 3):3-8.