Oral Thrush

Published:December 11th, 2011

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Oral thrush is an infection of the mouth, caused by Candida fungus (also known as yeast). Oral thrush can be extremely problematic, to those who suffer from it, due to its chronic occurrence and ability to affect other parts of the body. Oral thrush affects people from any sex or age group, though it is often seen in babies and toddlers.

The Causes Of Oral Thrush

The fungus that causes oral thrush is normally found in the skin, mouth and digestive track and poses no harm to people, under normal conditions. The activity of this virus is controlled by other bacteria found in the mouth and elsewhere in the body. But in some cases this control can be lost, which leads to the excessive growth and spread of Candida fungus. Other factors that can lead to oral thrush include illness, stress and medication, which can lead to an imbalance of bacteria in the mouth. Medications that can lead to oral thrush include birth pills, cortisteroids and antibiotics. People who suffer from uncontrollable diabetes, HIV infection, cancer and dry mouth are more prone to be affected by Candida fungus. People who smoke or are have ill-fitting dentures, are also likely to develop oral thrush.

The Symptoms Of Oral Thrush

The most common symptom of oral thrush comes in the form of a creamy white, slightly raised lesions that appear in the mouth region. These lesions mostly commonly appear on the inner cheeks and surface of the tongue, but the can also appear on the palate region, gums, tonsils and the back of the throat. These lesions can be painful to bear and often bleed, when you scrape them in the process of brushing your teeth. If these lesions reach the esophagus area, it can lead to complications such as difficulty in swallowing food.

The Treatment Of Oral Thrush

The type of treatment prescribed to patients will depend on the severity of the infection. The medication prescribed will depend on the age of the patient and the cause of the infection.

How To Prevent Oral Thrush

  • Brush your teeth twice a day and avoid mouthwashes and artificial sprays, which can create an imbalance of fungi in the mouth.
  • Visit your dentist regularly.
  • Avoid consuming too much sugar and alcohol. If you are smoker, try and quit smoking.

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