Oral thrush is one of the most irritating and sudden conditions in the mouth, affecting millions of people all over the world. Both adults and babies can suffer from it, so it’s important to have proper knowledge about the condition, its causes, symptoms and treatments. Knowing this will help you know what steps to take if you ever experience it. Continue reading this article to learn more about the condition.
Oral Thrush: What Is It?
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Oral thrush is actually a type of fungal infection that breaks out on the oral tissues, including the inner cheeks, roof of the mouth, tonsils, gums and tongue. It is triggered by the fungus Candida, the same variety of yeast that causes vaginal infection.
Just like other types of bacteria and fungus, candida is already naturally present in the mouth, but the body’s natural immunity process usually keeps it in check. When this balance in oral bacteria changes for whatever reason, the fungus will grow out of control, after which you begin to experience the symptoms of thrush.
Even though some people do not consider oral thrush a dangerous condition, having a weak immune system may cause the condition to worsen. Yes, you read that right: having a weak immune system may cause more severe and longer-lasting effects. If it gets bad enough, it can also spread to other parts of the body, such as the skin, liver, esophagus and lungs. There are actually a lot of risks associated with this condition, so knowing how to recognize its symptoms, cause and treatments is crucial.
Oral Thrush: What Are Its Symptoms?
One of the most common or most identifiable symptoms of oral thrush is small white patches or lesions in the mouth. While these areas are small at first, eventually they can spread and become painful and flaky. Rubbing or scrubbing the affected area may just cause it to bleed and become inflamed. The corners of the mouth may also become cracked and dry, and the inside of the mouth may have an unpleasant sensations, with some reporting a lost sense of taste in more serious instances.
Thrush starts to become really dangerous if the symptoms start to appear in the throat. Leaving them untreated can cause bleeding in the throat, painful or difficult swallowing and other symptoms. Furthermore, the infection can spread to the rest of the body, including other the organs. This may result in fever or other side effects, specifically in those with existinges illness or autoimmune diseases.
Oral Thrush: What Are the Causes?
The main cause of the condition is the candida fungus, which is actually already present in the body and, under normal circumstances, the body’s bacteria prevents an overgrowth. However, it may take advantage of a weakened immune system to spread and grow in the oral cavity.
Oral Thrush: What Are the Risk Factors?
Here are some of the risk factors of the condition:
Treatments for Oral Thrush
The good thing about this condition is that, if you have it, you can treat it. There are a lot of ways to get rid of the condition. If you are not into home remedies or natural treatments, you can try anti-fungal liquid drops, lozenges, tablets or mouthwashes. Some of the most common types of medications are miconazole, clotrimazole, and nystatin. However, if you are not into medications and chemicals, you can always opt for home remedies.
Treatments for Oral Thrush: Home Remedies
Here are some of the best home remedies or natural treatments for oral thrush:
Coconut oil. The antioxidant and the antifungal properties of coconut oil help get rid of the symptoms of oral thrush.
Garlic. Since garlic has a high concentration of antifungal and antioxidant compounds, it helps speedily eliminate the infection.
Apple Cider Vinegar. Vinegar is actually a good oral cleanser, since it contains antifungal and antiseptic properties.
Tea tree oil. Just a few drops of this may help reduce the appearance of oral thrush symptoms.
Yogurt. Yogurt is a good way of providing probiotics to the body. Furthermore, it also helps protect various parts of the body.