What Do You Know About Oral Thrush?
What is oral thrush?
There really is no way to sugarcoat this – oral thrush is when a yeast infection develops inside your mouth. Alternate names are oral candidiasis and oropharyngeal candidiasis. It surprisingly occurs most often in babies and toddlers. Fortunately, the infection is typically mild and rarely causes serious problems.
What are the other symptoms of oral thrush?
It’s important to note that no symptoms may be present in early stages, but as the infection gets worse, one may experience:
- White or yellowish bumps on the tongue, insides of the cheeks, tonsils, gums, and/or lips
- Soreness or burning in the mouth
- Bleeding if the bumps are scraped or irritated
- Dry, cracked skin at the corners of your mouth
- A cotton-like sensation in your mouth
- A loss of taste or a bad taste in your mouth
- Difficulty swallowing
What causes oral thrush in your mouth?
Oral thrush is caused by an overgrowth of a fungus called Candida albicans. Note, that this is “overgrowth”, as it is normal for a small amount to live in your mouth without any issues. It’s when your immune system is compromised, that the fungus can grow out of control.
It is also possible to develop an overgrowth if you take certain medications that reduce the amount of beneficial organisms in your body, such as antibiotics.
People who suffer from cancer and are getting radiation or chemotherapy treatments can also be more susceptible to oral thrush. This is because these treatments can kill off healthy cells.
Other conditions that can weaken your immune system, such as leukemia, HIV, and diabetes can also increase the chances of developing oral thrush.
How is oral thrush diagnosed?
Your doctor or dentist may be able to diagnose it just by looking in your mouth. In some cases, your doctor may take a biopsy.
How is oral thrush treated?
Your doctor may prescribe one of more medications such as fluconazole, clotrimazole, itraconazole, amphoteric B. Treatment usually takes a couple of weeks.
It’s so important to practice good oral hygiene during your treatment:
- Brush your teeth with a soft toothbrush
- Avoid scraping the bumps in your mouth caused by the oral thrush
- Replace your toothbrush after the treatment for your oral thrush has concluded
- Avoid mouthwash, unless instructed by your doctor
Concerned you have oral thrush? Make an appointment with your health professional today! Located in the Surrey, BC area? Come see us at Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry. Give us a call at to book your appointment: 604-593-8201.
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