Nasty white patches on your mouth, pain in the throat, even bleeding; it may seem like you’re in for some serious trouble. But don’t worry! Oral thrush might be an embarrassing condition but it’s usually not too serious.
What is Oral Thrush?
Oral thrush, also called oral candidiasis (kan-dih-DIE-uh-sis) and is one of the most common fungal infections, and if taken care of properly, it shouldn’t be too difficult to get rid of. This condition generally affects babies and the elderly, as well as people whose immune systems have gone through considerable stress – either as a result of poor diet or as a consequence of a disease.
We’ve mentioned those ugly lesions in your mouth. However, they’re not the only symptoms of oral thrush, and they’re not even the first ones.
Some additional symptoms include:
- white patchy lesions that cover the top of your tongue, inner cheeks, and sometimes on the roof of your mouth, gums and tonsils
- A cottage cheese-like appearance growth on your tongue
- Redness, burning or soreness that may be severe enough to cause difficulty eating or swallowing
- Slight bleeding if the lesions are rubbed or scraped off
- Cracking and redness at the corners of your mouth
- A cottony feeling in your mouth
- Loss of taste
- Redness, irritation and pain near your gum lining
Depending on the severity of the infection, oral thrush symptoms may range from a slight swelling of the mouth tissue to thick white patches covering the throat and making swallowing difficult. Pain and a burning sensation in the mouth are also quite common.
From smoking to cancer, there’s lots of factors that lead and cause oral thrush. However, all of them have something in common: they favor the overgrowth of a fungus called candida albicans that most people host in their mouth and guts. The solution is basically to kill those ugly candida colonies. Thrush occurs when there’s a imbalance of bacteria that overgrowing in the body due to different lifestyle and health factors.
There’s only one sure-fire way to make sure you’ll never get thrush again: taking good care of your diet. Candida bacterium thrives on sugary foods, so avoid sugars and yeasts, since they help the candida colonies grow fast, and add probiotic bacteria into your diet.
Additional Risk Factors for thrush
You may have an increased risk of oral thrush infection if any of these issues apply:
- Weakened immunity. Oral thrush is more likely to occur in babies and older adults due to weakened immunity. Certain medical conditions and treatments can suppress your immune system, such as cancer and its treatments, organ transplantation and required drugs that suppress the immune system, and HIV/AIDS.
- Diabetes. If you have untreated diabetes or the disease isn’t well-controlled, your saliva may contain large amounts of sugar, which encourages the growth of candida.
- Vaginal yeast infections. Vaginal yeast infections are caused by the same fungus that causes oral thrush. You can pass the infection to your baby.
- Medications. Drugs such as prednisone, inhaled corticosteroids, or antibiotics that disturb the natural balance of microorganisms in your body can increase your risk of oral thrush.
- Other oral conditions. Wearing dentures, especially upper dentures, or having conditions that cause dry mouth can increase the risk of oral thrush.
Thrush and Other Yeast Infections
While thrush may not be contagious, candida colonies may spread from vagina to mouth, thus leading to different yeast infections. Bear in mind that your vulnerability plays an important part in whether or not you’ll develop any candidiasis – that is, if your immune system is strong, you’ll probably not get any even if you engage in oral sex with a person who is infected.
Oral Thrush Progression & Pictures
Not sure if you’ve got thrush or not? We’ve compiled a list of oral thrush pictures documenting the different stages of oral thrush.
Is your oral thrush treatment not working? Then read this step by step action plan to help rid of candida overgrowth!
Regardless of why you’re interested in oral thrush, you’ve come to the right place. Pick the article that interests you and get informed right now – it may be the first step on your way to a yeast-free life!