Oral Thrush – Scraping Your Tongue

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If you’ve got oral thrush, scraping your tongue won’t help get rid of the infection. At best, your doctor may scrape the lesions to get a better diagnostic. At worst, scraping them off yourself may result in bleeding and pain. Although, it is understandable if you want to remove the gunk off your tongue, as the bacteria is usually associated with a bad smell.

Your best bet is to opt for a traditional antifungal treatment, adjust your diet, and always consult with your specialist. However, if you do wish to scrape – watch this video to properly clean and scrape your tongue.

Oral Thrush

Oral thrush, also known as pseudomembranous candidiasis, is the most common form of oral candidiasis, accounting for 35% of all cases.

Symptoms

Regardless of the cause, this mycosis usually shows the same common symptoms: creamy white patches in the mouth, gums, tonsils and throat, swelling of the oral tissue and sometimes lesions of the mouth.

While most of the times these ugly patches are the only symptoms, occasionally more severe signs might appear, depending on how bad the infection is. A blistering sensation in the mouth, loss of taste, difficulty swallowing (if the infection is localized in the throat) and hoarseness (if the trachea and the larynx are infected) are all possible signs of oral thrush. Left untreated, the candida in the mouth may move to other regions of the body, leading to even worse conditions such as infections of the lungs or the intestines. However, such cases are rare and usually happen to those whose immune systems are weakened and who neglect the initial symptoms.

Treatment Options

Probably the most common treatment is to apply an anti-fungal gel (such as miconazole) or anti-fungal drops (nystatin). Regardless of which one you choose, you’ll have to apply it four times a day over the infected regions. The typical length of such treatments is five to seven days.

Another way to treat oral thrush is taking pills. Most doctors will generally recommend this type of treatment if the condition persists after the use of nystatin or miconazole. Anti-fungal tablets contain a compound called fluconazole. You’ll usually have to take them for a week, but some severe cases may ask for longer cures of up to two weeks.

Home Treatments & Remedies

Active compounds in natural ingredients have been shown to cure oral thrush by directly affecting the candida albicans colonies in your mouth. Most of these solutions are applied locally, directly on the affected region. There is no clearly determined period of treatment, as the strength of the solution plays an important role. If your home remedy of choice seems to be ineffective after a few days of use, you may want to consult a doctor.

Some essential oils have been shown to kill candida albicans and lower the spread of thrush. The most commonly-used is coconut oil. You’ll have to apply extra-virgin coconut oil on the affected areas with a cotton swab, usually 2-4 times a day, until you’re happy with the results.

Another great home remedy is salt. Add one tablespoon of salt to one cup of water and use the mixture to gargle thoroughly. Repeat a few times a day for several days, until the symptoms are gone.

You can also use tea tree oil. Add 4/5 drops to one cup of warm water and use that to gargle thoroughly twice a day for several days, until the infection improves. Be careful not to swallow, as there may be some unpleasant side effects.

Other home remedies include yogurt, baking soda and apple cider vinegar. They’re all applied locally, and yogurt and apple cider vinegar may also be consumed, either alone or mixed with other ingredients.

Conclusion

Scraping your tongue is not an effective way to cure thrush – if anything, you’re more likely to hurt yourself.

As with all conditions, it’s important to get specialist advice. Consulting your doctor will help you get the best thrush treatment for your particular condition.

Resources:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/oral-thrush/basics/definition/con-20022381
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oral_candidiasis
http://www.emedicinehealth.com/oral_thrush/page4_em.htm#how_is_oral_thrush_treated
http://www.top10homeremedies.com/home-remedies/home-remedies-for-oral-thrush.html
http://www.thebody.com/content/76640/can-i-scrape-thrush-off-my-tongue.html