Oral thrush is a condition which affects the soft tissues of the mouth where an overgrowth of a yeast-like fungus called Candida Albicans causes problems. This candida fungus is actually present in most peoples bodies in smaller amounts and is kept under control by your body's immune system. Sometimes, however, the amounts of candida grow out of control and this can result in health conditions such as oral thrush in the mouth, diaper rash in babies and vaginal yeast infections in women.
Oral thrush does not tend to be a very serious health condition and there are plenty of ways to eradicate it, but you should be aware that it can also spread from your mouth down into your throat and lungs. If this happens, you will need to undergo more advanced treatment suggested by your doctor. If you catch the condition early on, then it can usually be thoroughly treated by medications that are available over the counter through your pharmacy.
Who Tends To Get Oral Thrush?
While anybody can technically get oral thrush, since we all have the fungus present in our bodies, it tends to affect mostly:
Babies due to their undeveloped immune systems
Women going through periods of hormonal upheaval such as pregnancy or menopause
Diabetics that have poorly controlled sugar levels in their blood
Asthmatics taking oral steroid medications
People with illnesses that affect the immune system function
People who have recently taken a course of antibiotics
How You Can Tell If You Have Oral Thrush
Oral thrush generally appears in the mouth on the tongue, roof of the mouth, the gum line or the insides of the cheeks. It looks like little white or creamy-colored patches that have a velvety or cottage cheese-like texture. If you rub the lesions they may reveal red patches underneath and they may begin bleeding. These patches are often sore or uncomfortable and may affect your appetite or give you an unpleasant taste in your mouth.
If you think you might have developed oral thrush, you should visit your doctor or pharmacist for a diagnosis and some treatment advice. There are various preparations in the form of tablets, lozenges, mouthwash and gels that can be used to eradicate the condition. Some preparations require only one dosage and kill off the fungus very quickly and others take up to two weeks to work. Which product is suggested for you will depend entirely on your individual medical circumstances.
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