Thrush is a fungal or yeast infection caused by candida. Oral thrush is a fungal infection of the mouth. Candida infection is not restricted to the mouth; it can affect other organs like vagina and penile organ. It is commonly seen in toddlers, elders and people with low immune system.
Candida Albicans is the fungus that is present in the mouth, skin and gastrointestinal system. Certain illnesses, medications and stress can lead to imbalance, causing the microbe to grow out of control. This is what causes thrush.
Oral thrush is characterised by the presence of whitish and raised lesions in the mouth, especially on the tongue, inner cheeks and roof of the mouth. The lesions have a typical cottage cheese appearance, which may bleed or cause pain. In severe cases of oral thrush, one may experience pain while swallowing, pain in throat and fever. The infection spreads quickly in immuno-compromised (HIV) patients and people with cancer.
Oral Thrush Treatment
Oral thrush is effectively treated in healthy children and adults, but it is difficult to manage in people with poor immune system. Physicians often prescribe antifungal medicines for 10 to 14 days to subside the infection. It is important to complete the course of therapy; otherwise, the infection recurs. Antifungal medicines are available in pills, lozenges or liquids. Your doctor will have a specific treatment for you based on the severity of the infection and age. At the same time, your doctor may advise you certain oral care products.
Oral Thrush Prevention
The first and foremost thing to do is brush your teeth at least twice daily and floss at least once daily. Limit the amount of sugar and foods that contain yeast such as bread. More importantly, quit smoking. Do not overuse mouth-sprays or mouthwashes. See your dentist or doctor regularly, especially if you wear dentures and have diabetes.
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