Oral thrush, sometimes called oral candidiasis, is a medical condition in which fungus develops on the lining of your mouth. This is actually a normal fungus that lives in your mouth, but sometimes it can overgrow, leading to symptoms. The overdevelopment of this fungus can lead to white lesions on your tongue, cheek, gums or tonsils. With proper treatment, the fungus can be easily controlled. We take a closer look at the condition and explain your treatment options in this blog.
Causes and Symptoms of Oral Thrush
There isn’t really a direct cause of oral thrush, but there are some risk factors that can increase the amount of fungus in your mouth or inhibit the body’s ability to maintain the correct levels of microbes in your mouth. Those risk factors include:
- Having a weakened immune system (more common in infants and elderly)
- Taking certain medications
- The presence of a vagnial yeast infection
- Wearing dentures
- Breastfeeding a child who has the condition
Symptoms of oral thrush include the white lesions that we alluded to in the intro, redness, a burning sensation in the mouth, general mouth soreness, bleeding, difficulty swallowing, a cottony feeling in your mouth and an inhibited taste sensation.
Left untreated, oral thrush can lead to the onset of an infection, so if you notice any of the above symptoms, reach out to your dentist or primary care physician.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Oral thrush can be diagnosed with a physical exam, although your doctor may wish to test a sample to rule out any specific causes. Once diagnosed, your doctor or dentist will walk you through a treatment and prevention plan, which will likely include:
- Eliminating or controlling for underlying causes
- Regularly brushing your teeth
- Rinsing your mouth, especially if you suffer from dry mouth
- Cleaning your dentures, and making sure they aren’t irritating your gums
- Maintain healthy blood sugar levels
- Limiting sugar intake
- Visiting your dentist regularly
- Warm salt water mouth rinses
Oral thrush can be irritating, but it’s a condition that can be treated quite easily, so don’t ignore the symptoms. Doing so can lead to the onset of an infection, which can have whole body consequences. Treating the condition is rather straightforward, but prevention is preferred, so make sure you are practicing good oral hygiene habits and regularly visit your dentist to make sure everything in your mouth continues to look good.
For more information about oral thrush, or to talk with a dentist about any concerns you might have, reach out to Dr. Brooks’ office today.
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