Oral Thrush : Here’s What You Need to Know
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Oral thrush is a fungal infection that is common in toddlers and adults who have a weak immune system. However, even though it is comparatively rare, it can also happen to young adults. Also referred to as oral candidiasis, oral thrush occurs when the fungus Candida albicans, which is a common fungus present in your mouth in smaller amounts, multiplies rapidly and causes a yeast infection.
Want to know more about oral thrush? Here’s a quick guide that will cover all the basics- right from what it is, causes, symptoms, and treatment options to how to prevent and manage oral thrush the right way.
What is oral thrush?
Oral thrush, as mentioned above, is a fungal infection in which you develop white, creamy lesions (spots) on the inside of your cheeks and tongue. Sometimes oral thrush can also develop on the roof of your mouth, gums or your tonsils.
Oral thrush is not serious and will go away with the help of antifungal medication if you have a healthy immune system.
What causes oral thrush?
Wondering what causes the fungus in your mouth to abnormally grow out of control? Typically, your body’s immune system takes care of the balance of the good and the bad microbes in your mouth. However, if a toddler or elderly person’s immune system is weakened, a case of oral thrush is a possibility.
Here are some of the common oral thrush causes that you must know:
- Consumption of birth control pills
- Certain medications
- Dry mouth
What are the common symptoms of oral thrush?
Certain telltales will help you realise that you may be suffering from a case of oral thrush. However, note that typically oral thrush happens suddenly.
Some of the common oral thrush symptoms that you must watch out for are:
- Spots on your tongue, lips, gums, tonsils and roof of your mouth
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Redness and soreness in your mouth
- Slight bleeding in your mouth
- Loss of taste
- A cottony feeling in your mouth
How do you treat oral thrush?
Antifungal medications happen to be the best oral thrush treatment option. Typically, it will take about a week or two weeks for the lesions to heal completely. The antifungal medications for oral thrush are usually in the form of pills, lozenges or liquid which you have to swish in your mouth before swallowing them.
People who suffer from a recurrent case of oral thrush need to identify the underlying health condition which causes this dental condition.
7 Preventive tips to avoid oral thrush
Though you cannot control getting oral thrush, you can undoubtedly reduce your chances of getting it with the help of certain measures.
Here are some easy-to-follow and effective tips which will help you prevent oral thrush.
- Practise good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing at least once and using a mouth rinse.
- People who wear dentures must remove them before going to bed and clean them every day.
- Avoid smoking and tobacco.
- Go for regular clean-ups and dental check-ups.
- Limit your intake of highly sugary and yeast-containing food items like beer, wine, bread, etc.
- Treat a case of dry mouth in time.
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Is oral thrush hard to cure?
Oral thrush is not a big deal and it is easy to cure with the help of antifungal medications if you have a healthy immune system.
How long does thrush last?
Typically, the spots vanish in about two weeks if you take your antifungal medications properly. However, if you leave them untreated, they can persist till eight weeks or more.
Who is at risk for oral thrush?
Anyone can get oral thrush but it is more common in babies who are younger than six months and in elderly people who have a weak immune system.
Which food items to avoid if you have oral thrush?
You must avoid eating dairy products, fruits which are high in sugar, toxic meat and fish, nuts and seeds if you suffer from a case of oral thrush.
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