Oral Thrush

July 14, 20130 Comments

Oral thrush is caused by Candida albicans fungus and it affects the soft lining of the mouth or oral cavity. It produces white blisters or lesions on the tongue and inner part of mouth which can be painful and bleeding. For some people it will spread to the roof of your oral cavity and your gums or even on your throat. Oral thrush can develop on anyone but it largely occurs in babies and adults who use corticosteroid medicines or who are wearing fixtures on their teeth or those with weakened immunity.

Symptoms :

For mild forms of oral thrush the symptoms are very mild and sometimes you may not have any signs of infection at all. For moderate infections it will cause lesions on the tongue, inner cheeks and on the upper part of oral cavity and back of your throat. The lesions will look whitish yellow in color resembling cottage cheese. There will be moderate pain and the area may bleed if rubbed. It can cause redness and irritation on the mouth and the affect the sense of taste.

In rare cases, the lesions will spread deep into the throat and even to your stomach and can cause difficulty in swallowing anything.

Signs on infants and Breast-Feeding Mothers :

Presence of white lesions on the mouth indicates oral thrush. The baby will pass on the fungal infection to his mother while she feeds him. Thus there is every chance for the infection to spread on mother’s breasts causing redness on the nipples with itchiness. It can cause pain while nursing the child and intense pain between feedings. The area around the nipple will become dark and shiny causing intense pain thus making the mother unable to feed.

Causes :

Candida infection or oral thrush is caused when the body’s immune system becomes weak due to certain diseases or while taking certain drugs like prednisone. When the natural balance of the body gets disturbed due to intake of prolonged antibiotics it can weaken the immunity. The protective mechanism of the body will fail on such occasions and the immune system will not be able to differentiate between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria or fungus thus allowing the oral thrush to happen.

People who have weakened immunity like HIV infected individuals, those suffering from cancer of any type, those undergoing treatment like chemotherapy or radiation therapy, those with diabetes and those with vaginal yeast infections.

Who are at risk?

People who smoke, having cancer in any form, individuals wearing dentures, persons with weak immune system have increased chance for getting affected with oral thrush. In rare cases, oral thrush can spread to other body parts like esophagus, digestive tract, and liver.

Diagnoses :

Oral thrush can be easily diagnosed by your doctor by physically examining the oral cavity. In rare cases he would do a biopsy of the lesions to test it on the lab for confirming the diagnoses. For some people throat culture or swab will be taken from the throat for testing.

Treatment :

Before giving treatment, your doctor will have to consider the age of the patient, his/her general health condition and the actual cause of infection. For infants the doctor would prescribe mild antifungal medicines for destroying the fungus. For nursing mothers antifungal lotions or ointments are given for reducing the pain and inflammation on their breasts.

For adults oral thrush can be cured easily by taking yogurt (sweet-free). Over the counter acidophilus liquid will be of much help for treating this infection. By taking yogurt you are increasing the ‘good’ bacteria in the body which helps in killing the fungus. Your doctor will prescribe antifungal drugs like amphotericin B or give lozenges or liquids for clearing throat infection.

Home Remedies :

Maintain good oral health by brushing twice a day and washing your mouth after every meal. Change your toothbrush often and do not change the mouthwash frequently. For mild form of oral thrush you can prepare salt water and gargle it twice or thrice a day. You can use it as an effective antibiotic rinse liquid for clearing the bacterial infection from your mouth.

Images, Pics, Photos and Pictures of Oral Thrush :

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Prevention :

You can prevent getting Candida fungal infections by practicing good oral hygiene and by monitoring what you eat. Reduce the intake of sugar and carbonated beverages.

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