A lot of us have already heard about vaginal yeast infection caused by fungus called candida. There are other infections caused by this fungus and that is thrush, a yeast infection of the mouth. Thrush mostly affects babies and toddlers, older people and those with weak immune systems. Candida fungus is actually present in the mouth, digestive tract and skin in smaller quantity and is normally controlled by other bacteria in the body.
And what causes thrush?
Illnesses such as diabetes, HIV infection, cancer and dry mouth can lead to the growth of yeast. Stress is one of the factors too. Certain medications that causes imbalance to the candida fungus are corticosteroids, antibiotics and contraceptive pills. Additionally, infection will develop for those with uncontrolled diseases or those who are pregnant. Smokers are not spared with this infection of the mouth, as well as those who wear dentures that don’t fit correctly. Moreover, babies can develop thrush but can be treated immediately; however, it may turn out to be persistent for a longer period.
Do you know the oral yeast infection symptoms?
One common symptom of thrush is the existence of white and creamy protruding lesions in the mouth, roof of the mouth, tongue or inner cheeks, gums, tonsils, or back of your throat. The lesions are very painful and bleed when you try to scrape them or when brushing your teeth. In severe cases, the lesions may spread into your esophagus that may cause pain or difficulty in swallowing and even cause fever. Yeast can infect the lungs, liver and skin for those with low immune system because of cancer, HIV and the like.
How doctors diagnosed oral yeast infections?
Dentist will examine those white lesions in your mouth, tongue and cheeks then he can make his diagnosis. For infection that spreads to the esophagus, a throat culture is done to be used for laboratory test or conduct endoscopy of the esophagus, stomach and small intestines.
How do we treat oral yeast infection?
There are antifungal medicines prescribed to be taken for 10 to 14 days to treat the thrush. These are available in tablets, lozenges or in liquid form. Your dentist will make precise treatment method based on age and the cause of the infection. He will also recommend the patient to consult a physician for further tests because this infection might be a symptom of other medical problems to ensure they are treated properly.
How de we prevent thrush?
We can always prevent yeast infection of the mouth by practicing proper oral hygiene. That means you need to brush your teeth two to three times everyday. Mouthwash and oral sprays may cause imbalance to the microorganism in your mouth, so try to minimize or avoid using them. Have a regular dental check up if you have diabetes or wearing dentures. Minimize the consumption of sugar and foods that triggers the growth of yeast. Avoid smoking or if you are, start quitting the habit so to avoid thrush.
By and large, we have learned that thrush can be prevented and controlled. Except of course for those who have special medical conditions, extra care must be given. By being aware of its causes, symptoms and diagnosis, treatment of yeast infection of the mouth is very easy.