Oral thrush is a common fungal infection. A fungus called Candida Albicans causes this infection. This fungus lives inside your mouth and normally does not cause any harm. But, if the fungus multiplies uncontrollably, it becomes an infection. This typically happens due to a weak immune system in adults. Infants, whose immune systems are not fully developed, are also prone to it.
How to tell if you have contracted oral thrush
In its early stages, there are hardly any visible symptoms. But, as the disease progresses, you may notice the following symptoms-
- White bumps inside your mouth – they feel smooth when touched.
- Bleeding from the bumps if your teeth scrape them
- Pain and discomfort around the bumps
- The skin around your mouth may feel dry and itchy
- You might have trouble swallowing
In the case of infants, you will notice these symptoms –
- Irritability and fussy
- You will face difficulty nursing your baby
This condition is contagious. So, if you are nursing an infant with oral thrush, you can get it from her/him. And once you get the infection, you can pass it back to the baby when you nurse again.
A breastfeeding mother will experience these symptoms-
- Itching or flakiness of the skin surrounding the nipples
- Pain during breastfeeding
- Sharp pain in the breasts
What increases your risk of oral thrush?
Oral thrush can affect anyone. However, the risk of contracting this disorder increases if you are –
- HIV positive
- Taking antibiotics (Antibiotics kill the bacteria that are responsible for keeping the growth of oral thrush fungus in check.)
- Undergoing chemotherapy or radiation
- Smoking or consuming too much alcohol
Can complications arise out of oral thrush?
Oral thrush does not always lead to complications. But, if your immune system is very weak, the fungi can sometimes enter your bloodstream, spread to other body parts, and turn fatal. This is invasive candidiasis.
If you think you have oral thrush, consult a doctor on MediBuddy for an effective treatment plan.
What treatment can you opt for if you have oral thrush?
Your doctor will prescribe an antifungal medication – considered the best treatment for thrush. It comes in the form of tablets or a liquid that you have to swish around in your mouth. Alternatively, your doctor could administer it intravenously. Anti-fungal medicines produce quick results on both infants and adults.
Nursing mothers will also need to use an antifungal ointment to combat the itchiness on their breasts.
Even if your oral thrush symptoms have disappeared, don’t assume they won’t return, especially if your immune system is not healthy.
You can take these precautions to keep it at bay –
- Oral hygiene: you must brush twice a day and floss regularly. You should change your toothbrush every few months. Try to avoid mouth sprays.
- Care for your dentures: If you have dentures then keep them clean at all times. If you don’t know how to do that, consult a dentist.
- Homemade mouthwash: a good way to beat oral thrush is to rinse your mouth with a solution of salt or baking soda dissolved in lukewarm water.
- Yoghurt: yoghurt contains good bacteria that help combat oral thrush. So, you should include yoghurt in your diet.
Once you contract an oral thrush infection, you will have to take medicines to halt it in its tracks. So talk to a doctor at the earliest. Also, remember to take the aforementioned precautions to ensure it does not recur.