Definition and etiology Oral radiation mucositis is a side effect of radiation treatment of head and neck tumors.
Clinical features The oral lesions are classified as early and late.
Early reactions may begin at the end of the first week of radiotherapy, and consist of erythema and edema of the oral mucosa (Fig. 47).
Soon after,erosions or ulcers may develop, covered by a whitish-yellow exudate.
Xerostomia, loss of taste, and burning and pain during mastication, swallowing, and speech are common. The diagnosis is made clinically.
Differential diagnosis Mycositis due to chemotherapy, graft-versushost disease, erythema multiforme, herpetic stomatitis, lichen planus.
Treatment Supportive. Cessation of the radiation treatment, B-complex vitamins, and sometimes low doses of steroids are indicated.