What Is Oral Thrush (Candidiasis)?Oral thrush (candidiasis) is a yeast infection. Candida albicans is the most common candida fungus that can cause thrush to appear. These fungi are located in the mucous membranes that line the mouth. Candida is commonly found in the mouths of many people. If you have a healthy immune system you can generally fight off the development of thrush. However, if you do not have a healthy immune system, the fungus can overgrow and cause thrush.
Candidiasis usually only affects people with immune systems that are not strong enough to fight it off. This can be caused by poor lifestyle choices, medications, or even genetics. Candidiasis can affect a person at any age, young or old. Thrush may not be immediately noticeable at first, and usually does not cause serious pain, but it can impact your quality of life.
One of the best ways to combat oral thrush is to get consistent dental checkups, your dentist will be able to inform you if you have it or not.
Oral Thrush – What Does It Look Like?
Candidiasis appears as white spots (lesions) that can be wiped off with a toothbrush, or tongue scraper. When the white spots are wiped off, they will leave a raw red base. These lesions can appear on your tongue, palate, or the linings of the cheeks and the back of your lips.
Symptoms Of Oral Thrush
- White patches (lesions) that develop on the tongue, palate, cheeks, or inner lips
- Sore mouth, lips, cheeks, tongue, or throat
- Redness around the lesions
- Dry or cracked lips
- Soreness in the mouth
- Decreased sense of taste
- A burning sensation on the tongue or around the lesions
- Cottonmouth or dry mouth
- Severe oral thrush can reduce the ability to swallow, speak, and eat
- Poor-fitting denture
What Causes Oral Thrush?
Oral thrush can have a number of reasons, you have a good chance of preventing it with healthy lifestyle choices but sometimes it may be out of your control.
Although necessary for certain situations, one potential side effect of antibiotics is oral thrush. Antibiotics are designed to kill off harmless bacteria. However, it can cause an imbalance to occur and it may cause the yeast to overgrow. When you take antibiotics, you will want to incorporate probiotic foods like yogurt in your diet to counteract this effect.
HSV-1 Infection (Herpes)
Weakened Immune Systems
Oral Thrush In Infants
- Have taken antibiotics due to sicknesses, such as strep throat or the flu.
- Do not clean orthodontic appliances before use.
- Use an inhaler for asthma.
- Have a weaker immune system than most children, which means they get sick easier.
- Frequently use a pacifier (babies).
- Were born prematurely and had a low birth weight.
How Do You Treat Oral Thrush?
- Antifungal medication – Used to kill bacteria inside the mouth.
- Antiseptics – Miconazole, clotrimazole, nystatin, itraconazole, and fluconazole medications are all used to potentially treat thrush.
- Dietary supplements – Probiotics can support healthy bacteria and can help fight off thrush.
- Throat lozenges – Used to mitigate the discomfort of thrush which can cause a sore throat.
- Yogurt – Contains probiotics.