What to eat when your mouth is sore

Appetite for Life

What to eat when your mouth is sore

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If you have mouth pain or have had your teeth removed, soft moist foods can make eating feel less painful. Soft and moist foods are useful when you are having trouble chewing, have loose fitting dentures or have a dry mouth.

Choose a variety of food from the five food groups to make sure your body is getting all the nutrients it needs.

Choose food from each of the five food groups

Meat and alternatives
  • Meat is easiest to eat when coarsely minced, slow cooked or served with a sauce (like bolognaise) or in a casserole.
  • Try egg dishes like scrambled eggs or soft quiches.
  • Steam or poached fresh fish or try tinned fish.
  • Add well-cooked beans and lentils (so the outer skin is soft) to meals, for example baked beans.
Dairy foods
  • Try milk, milkshakes and smoothies.
  • Have yogurt or custard as a snack.
  • Eat very soft cheeses like cottage cheese and ricotta.
  • Try moist cakes with sauce, custard or cream.
  • Add grated cheese to meals.
  • Cook vegetables well so they are easily chewed or mashed with a fork.
  • Add soft canned vegetables to meals.
  • Mash potatoes or cook in a potato bake with cream and cheese.
  • Add well-cooked beans and lentils (so the outer skin is soft) to meals.
  • Eat soft fresh fruit like bananas that can be easily mashed.
  • Stew fruits in small pieces or eat soft canned fruit.
  • Try pureeing fruit by blending it.
  • Try eating breakfast cereals soaked in milk.
  • Make soft sandwiches with no crusts, seeds or grains.
  • Add well cooked rice or couscous to main meals.
  • Cook soft pasta and noodles.

If your mouth is sore

  • Avoid fruit juices, acidic foods, salty or spicy foods.
  • Avoid hot foods and drinks, wait for them to cool to room temperature first.
  • Drink through a straw, to keep fluid away from sore spots.
  • Keep your teeth clean to prevent sores or infections in your mouth.

If your mouth is dry

  • Serve gravies or sauces with meals to make them easier to eat.
  • Dip dry foods (like biscuits or crackers) into drinks or soups to make them softer.
  • Have a drink with meals.
  • Use artificial saliva, which you can find at your pharmacy.

This general advice was accurate at the time of publication (June 2020). For more information about nutrition and your individual needs, see your GP or an Accredited Practising Dietitian.