Oral thrush is an infection that is cause by a fungus, Candida albicans. The yeast fungus thrives in the lining of the mouth thus resulting to oral thrush. Generally, oral thrush is most common to infants but adults are also susceptible to oral thrush.
People who are wearing dentures, uses spray of corticosteroids and those who have poor immune system are at risk of having oral thrush.
Oral thrush is not a problem if you have strong immune system but those who have weak immune system may have severe symptoms of oral thrush. Oftentimes, oral thrush is a sign of underlying health problem.
Without proper treatment, oral thrush may spread to other parts of the mouth like gums and even throat making it hard to eat. To avoid loss of nutrition, oral thrush should be properly treated.
What are the symptoms of oral thrush?
Oral thrush can sometimes go unnoticed. Most of the time, it is only discovered when the sore got scraped or bitten. Some of the symptoms of oral thrush may include:
- White lesions that are found in the gums, mouth and tongue
- Sores may appear like cottage cheese
- Bleeding may appear if the sores are scraped
- Corners of the mouth may appear reddish
- Individual may have loss of taste
Infants who have oral thrush may become irritable during breastfeeding. An infant who have oral thrush may transfer the thrush to the mother’s nipple.
A mother’s nipple infected with oral thrush may have the following symptoms:
- Nipples are reddish and itchy
- Skin around the nipple is flaky
- Bothersome pain while breastfeeding
- Nipples are sore
What are the causes of oral thrush?
Weak immune system is one of the cause of oral thrush. Ordinarily, the body’s immune system fights of foreign substances and other organisms like fungi but if an individual have poor immune system, the body may not be able to protect the body against fungi that may allow the development of oral thrush.
Likewise, those who wear continuously dentures are at risk of developing oral thrush especially if the dentures do not specifically fit their gums.
Aside from weak immune system and dentures, other diseases may make a person develop oral thrush. Some of the diseases that may cause oral thrush are:
- People with diabetes are susceptible of developing oral thrush especially if they have high sugar level. High sugar level present in their saliva may be a thriving ground of Candida thus resulting to oral thrush.
- Individuals suffering from cancer have poor immune system due to the disease and from cancer treatments like radiation. The disease and various therapies a cancer patient undergoes increase the susceptibility of developing oral thrush.
- People with HIV/AIDS damage the immune system, making them at risk of having oral thrush. Having bouts of oral thrush may mean an underlying serious infection like HIV.
What is the risk factors affecting oral thrush?
Some risk factors of developing oral thrush may include:
- Newborn infants
- Those who have weak immune system
- Wear dentures
- Health conditions
- Older people
- People who takes antibiotics and corticosteroids
What are the treatments of oral thrush?
Some treatments for oral thrush may include:
1. Antifungal medication
Antifungal medication is prescribed to heal the soreness of the oral thrush. Antifungal medications may come in form of tablet or lozenges. Medication can be use for 7 to 14 days.
Â 2. Rinse with salt and warm water
Rinsing with salt and warm water may heal the area affected with oral thrush. One half teaspoon of salt in one cup of warm water is recommended.
3. Brush regularly
Brushing regularly is very important.Â It will kill bacteria and fungi that may be present in the area. It will be better if flossing is also done after brushing. Replacing also your toothbrush at least every two months is necessary. If there are problems in holding the toothbrush, electric toothbrush may be used instead.
4. Avoid too much sweets
Too much sweets will encourage the growth of Candida. If you have several bouts of oral thrush, you may consider limiting or avoiding too much sugary foods in your diet.
5. Visit your dentist often
Visiting your dentist often is important to make sure that you have good oral health. Likewise, if you have dentures, it is important that it is well fitted to avoid any possible sores.
Oral thrush is not a serious disease but it needs treatment especially if you regularly have several bouts of oral thrush since it can be a symptom of other serious infection.