Among the many home remedies you could use to treat your thrush, baking soda is one of the most affordable, and also among the easiest to use.
Before discussing the basic principles of using baking soda, let’s go through the main symptoms and causes of oral thrush – identifying it correctly is the first step in treating it!
What are the symptoms?
Nasty-looking white patches are commonly associated with thrush, though they may be present in other diseases, too.
These patches won’t normally hurt, and they can be taken away with a spatula or scraped away with your fingers. If you do that, you’ll notice that the tissue beneath is swollen and may bleed, so it’s better to just leave them alone. They’ll go away with treatment, anyway.
Another common symptom is soreness of the mouth and difficulty swallowing, especially if the infection has spread to your throat. If it goes beyond that, you’re likely to experience fever and sickness, especially if your immune system is weakened.
What are the causes?
You should know that most people normally have candida in their mouths anyway. It only becomes infectious when it grows out of proportion – a process called candida overgrowth.
In healthy adults, there are many causes for this harmful growth:
- Smoking: since cigarette smoke disturbs the natural balance of oral bacteria, it may lead to candida overgrowth;
- Dentures: if you’re not taking proper care of your dentures, you may develop thrush. You should clean them daily and remove them at night;
- Antibacterial mouthwash: if used excessively, it will affect the healthy bacteria as well, thus encouraging candida to grow;
- Taking antibiotics: as we’ve already mentioned, prolonged use of antibiotics disrupts the natural bacterial flora. This may lead to oral thrush;
- Stress: long periods of stress may weaken your immune system, thus preventing the healthy bacteria to keep candida albicans in check.
While all these factors are associated with oral thrush, this condition is relatively infrequent in healthy adults. If you do get it, consult your doctor – left untreated, it may lead to further, more complicated infections.
Patients suffering from immune-affecting disorders, such as AIDS and cancer, are also more likely to develop oral thrush, as are people suffering from diabetes.
How do I use baking soda?
There are two common ways in which you could use baking soda to treat oral thrush.
- Ointment: form a paste by mixing a few teaspoons of baking soda with enough water; apply the resulting paste on the infected region with a cotton pad; allow it a few minutes, then rinse your mouth with warm water. Do this after every meal, until you notice your systems beginning to improve.
- Mouthwash: dissolve half a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water. Use the resulting solution to rinse your mouth after every meal, until your symptoms improve.
Baking soda is an effective thrush remedy, especially if combined with other antifungals. It can be used either as an ointment or mouthwash, and it’s safe in most cases. However, we recommend consulting your doctor if you plan to start treating thrush at home.