Oral thrush is also called oral candidiasis is a condition in which the fungus Candida albicans accumulates on the lining of mouth. Candida is a normal organism in mouth, but sometimes it can overgrow and cause symptoms.
Oral thrush causes creamy white lesions, usually on tongue or inner cheeks. Sometimes oral thrush may spread to the roof of mouth, gums or tonsils, or the back of throat.
Although oral thrush can affect anyone, it is more likely to occur in babies and older adults because they have reduced immunity.In other people with suppressed immune systems or certain health conditions or people who take certain medications. Oral thrush is a minor problem if healthy, but if one have a weakened immune system, symptoms may be more severe and difficult to control.
SYMPTOMS OF ORAL THRUSH
- Creamy white lesions on tongue, inner cheeks, and sometimes on the roof of the mouth, gums and tonsils
- Slightly raised lesions with a cottage cheese-like appearance
- Redness, burning or soreness that may be severe enough to cause difficulty eating or swallowing
- Slight bleeding if the lesions are rubbed or scraped
- Cracking and redness at the corners of our mouth
- A cottony feeling in mouth
- Loss of taste
- Redness, irritation and pain under dentures (denture stomatitis)
In severe cases, usually related to cancer or a weakened immune system from HIV/AIDS, the lesions may spread downward into esophagus the long, muscular tube stretching from the back of mouth to stomach (Candida esophagitis). If this occurs, may experience difficulty swallowing and pain or feel as if food is getting stuck in throat.
Infants and breast-feeding mothers
Women whose breasts are infected with candida may experience these signs and symptoms:
- Unusually red, sensitive, cracked or itchy nipples
- Shiny or flaky skin on the darker, circular area around the nipple (areola)
- Unusual pain during nursing or painful nipples between feedings
- Stabbing pains deep within the breast
CAUSES OF ORAL THRUSH
Normally, immune system works to repel harmful invading organisms, such as viruses, bacteria and fungi, while maintaining a balance between "good" and "bad" microbes that normally inhabit body. But sometimes these protective mechanisms fail, increasing the number of candida fungus and allowing an oral thrush infection to take hold.
The most common type of candida fungus is Candida albicans. Several factors, such as a weakened immune system, can increase risk of oral thrush.
One 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 infants and older adults due to reduced immunity. Some medical conditions and treatments can suppress our immune system, such as cancer and its treatments, organ transplantation and required drugs that suppress the immune system, and HIV/AIDS.
- Diabetes- If have untreated diabetes or the disease is not well-controlled, our 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.Mother can pass the infection to herr baby.
- Medications. Drugs such as prednisone, inhaled corticosteroids, or antibiotics that disturb the natural balance of microorganisms in our body can increase our 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.
COMPLICATIONS OF ORAL THRUSH
Oral thrush is seldom a problem for healthy children and adults.For people with lowered immunity, such as from cancer treatment or HIV/AIDS, thrush can be more serious. Untreated oral thrush can lead to more-serious systemic candida infections. If one have a weakened immune system, thrush may spread to our esophagus or other parts of our body.
PREVENTION OF ORAL THRUSH
These measures may help reduce our risk of developing candida infections:
- Rinse mouth
- Brush teeth at least twice a day and floss daily
- Check Dentures.
- Have regular checkup
- Maintain good blood sugar control if one have diabetes
- Treat a vaginal yeast infection
- Treat dry mouth
HOMOEOPATHIC TREATMENT FOR ORAL THRUSH
BORAX : Well-indicated medicine for thrush with white fungus growth, especially in children.Useful for thrush with white lesions or patches of fungus, especially in the children.Given when patient complains of a hot mouth with severe tenderness.Given when thrush easily bleeds upon touching, and there is a bitter taste in the mouth.
MERC SOL : Very effective medicine for thrush with a moist mouth and increased saliva. Given when tongue is thick and heavy, with a moist yellow coating, and spongy gums.There is offensive odour from the mouth, along with soreness of gums.
NITRIC ACID : Useful medicine for oral thrush with severe pain.Given when patient has a clean tongue, with patches in the center. Helpful when thrush is present with sharp, splinter-like pains and offensive breath.
CANDIDA ALBICANS : Excellent medicine for oral thrush with marked redness.Given when the patient complains of white lesions or patches in the mouth, generally on the inner cheeks and tongue.