Oral thrush is an infection caused by the overgrowth of the fungus Candida albicans in the mouth, which causes infection, usually in infants due to the fact that their immunity is still undeveloped, or in adults with weakened immune systems due to colds, chronic illnesses or HIV, for example.
Although it inhabits the skin, it is possible to catch candidiasis of another person through a kiss or intimate contact. This type of infection has a cure and its treatment is made with oral rinses, antifungal and correct oral hygiene, and should be guided by a general practitioner or dentist.
How is it transmitted
This type of fungus already inhabits the skin naturally, and only causes lesions when your immune system falls. Oral thrush can also be transmitted from one person to another through kissing or unprotected intimate contact.
This infection is also more common in people with a weakened immune system or that are at a greater risk of fungi growth, such as people who use dental prosthesis, poor oral hygiene or who eat sugary foods, for example.
The symptoms of oral candidiasis are the appearance of lumps or ulcers on the tongue or cheek, whitish plaques on the mouth, tongue and throat, and burning sensation in the mouth. When the infection is more severe and reaches the esophagus, it can cause pain and difficulty swallowing.
In infants, this type of infection appears in the form of white plaques on the tongue and they are more susceptible due to the fact that their immune system is undeveloped.
How to treat
Treatment for oral thrush in adults should be indicated by a general practitioner or a dentist, and may be done at home with antifungal agents in the form of a gel, liquid or mouthwash such as Nystatin for 5 to 7 days.
During treatment it is important to follow some cautions, such as:
- Brush your teeth 3 times a day with a soft bristle toothbrush;
- Avoid eating fatty or sugary foods such as cakes, sweets, crackers or candy;
- Wash your mouth after eating or use oral medication, such as a nasal spray or syrup.
A great home treatment for candidiasis is poejo tea, because it has properties that decrease fungal proliferation and helps to treat the infection faster. Learn more about ways to treat naturally oral yeast infections in: home remedies for yeast infections.
In the most severe cases, treatment for oral yeast infections can be done with the ingestion of oral antifungal medicines, such as Fluconazole, up to 14 days or as directed by your doctor.
The treatment for thrush in babies and children should be indicated by a pediatrician and is usually done by placing an antifungal in liquid form, cream or gel, such as nystatin or miconazole.
What to eat if you have oral thrush
During candidiasis it is recommended you not ingest anything with sugar or refined carbohydrate food sources, such as bread, biscuit and cakes, for example. While in treatment you should prefer foods like lemon, parsley and ginger because they help to cure the proliferation of the candida faster.