Oral thrush is a type of yeast infection that occurs in the mouth. It is very common among toddlers and babies, though less common with older children and adults. While contagious it can spread from a child to a parent, and this is one of the more common causes in adults.
The times a person is most susceptible to developing thrush are when they are taking oral antibiotics, when sharing drinks or utensils with a child who has thrush, or if dental appliances are not properly cleaned and maintained. Antibiotics can contribute to the growth of thrush by targeting and killing the healthy bacteria that is naturally present in the mouth, which creates conditions that allow the fungus that causes thrush to grow uninhibited. To help the body maintain the bacteria necessary, probiotics can be taken during the antibiotic treatment.
People who have chronic health concerns are at an increased risk of developing thrush due to the lower strength of their immune system. This leaves them more susceptible to many infections, not just the yeast infection variety, along with those who use corticosteroids inhalers such as asthma sufferers or those with other lung or respiratory conditions. These inhalers can create an environment that is conducive to the increased growth of the candida fungus that creates oral thrush. To counteract this effect the mouth should be rinsed after each use of these inhalers or medications.
Appearing as patches of white on the cheeks, tongue, and throat, it is most often diagnosed by doctors or dentists by appearance alone. It can also cause discomfort, and left untreated can make it difficult to eat properly, and in later stages affect swallowing and occasionally even proper breathing. There may be areas around the lips that will become red and cracked during a thrust infection, and these are most commonly painful to varying degrees.
Treating oral thrush should be started as soon as the symptoms appear, as the longer it is left untreated the more it grows and spreads. A liquid antifungal can be prescribed. This is most often swished around the mouth, then it will either need to be swallowed or it can be spit back out of the mouth. A doctor or pharmacist will direct how to use it and how often, though in younger children it is more often not swallowed, and in adults it frequently is. Alternatives to this treatment can be found in the event of reactions and include a cream applied to the tongue and cheeks wherever they are infected, or an antifungal lozenge that is melted in the mouth. Talk to your pharmacist to find the right form for you.
Oral thrush is a very common infection, especially in children, those with lowered immune systems, and people who use certain inhaled medications. The fungus that causes it is present on the body and remains harmless until the conditions for its growth are encouraged, such as antibiotic use or other factors. While easy to diagnose it is also fairly easy to treat with an oral antifungal treatment.
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Kassandra Foreman has been writing freelance for five years now and enjoys learning about new things to write about. When not writing she teaches yoga and meditation with a focus on health and fitness.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.