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Oral Thrush

If you can see some white rash in your mouth, you may have the infection called oral thrush. It is a superficial infection caused by the fungus Candida Albicans. Candida, an organism that gathers in the mouth can outgrow causing creamy white lesion. Oral thrush lesions are found on the tongue and inner cheek. Sometimes it can spread on the upper lip, gums, back of the throat and tonsils.

Oral thrush is a minor infection that can affect babies and toddlers. But anyone can get oral thrush. If your immune system is weak then you will probably get this kind of infection.

What are the symptoms of oral thrush?

Oral thrush develops quickly. The symptoms include:

  • Lesion on tongue, inner cheek, upper lips and around the mouth
  • Pain
  • Difficulty in eating and swallowing
  • Bleeding from lesion if rubbed
  • Loss of taste
  • Redness at the corners of the mouth
  • Fever

For infants

  • Trouble in feeding
  • Irritable

Breast Feeding Mother

  • Flaky skin on the areola
  • Itchy, sensitive and red nipples
  • Pain during breastfeeding
  • Pain on the breast

What causes oral thrush?

Candidas are normal organisms in our skin, mouth and digestive tract. These organisms are kept under control by other bacteria in our body. But sometimes, the balance between the two microbes is disturbed. The disturbance causes the Candida fungus to grow out of control and increase in numbers. This increase is the one that gives oral thrush. The disturbances between the two are due to:

  • Hormonal change
  • Taking medicines such as anti-biotics
  • Weakened immune system due to HIV, cancer
  • Untreated diabetes -The saliva of a person with untreated diabetes contains large amount of sugar. Too much sugar encourages the growth of fungus.
  • Oral conditions – Dentures can cause dry mouth resulting in the increase growth of fungus

How is oral thrush treated?

Some cases of oral thrush just go away within 1-2 weeks without any medical treatment. But if the fungus won’t stop from spreading doctors will prescribe antifungal medicines which are generally taken for 10-14 days.

  • Nursing mothers and infants- Your doctor will prescribe mild antifungal medicines and cream.
  • Children and healthy adults- Oral antifungal medication such as Fluconazole can treat oral thrush. Fluconazole can treat and prevent variety of fungal infections.

Home treatment for oral thrush includes:

  • Using toothbrush with soft bristles when brushing the teeth
  • Do not use mouthwash
  • Rinse your mouth with salt and water solution
  • Restore the good bacteria in the body by eating yogurt
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day.

Oral thrush is not common for older children, teenagers and adults. See your doctor if you have this kind of infection. Check for any underlying conditions. The fungus can get into your blood stream if you have weak immune system. This will eventually cause problems to your liver, brain and heart.

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