What isoral thrush?
This condition is alsocalled oral candidiasis. It occurs when the fungus Candida albicans accumulates in your mouth lining.
This organism is normal in the mouth, but it causes symptoms, including lesions on the tongue and the inner cheeks when it overgrows. Sometimes, oral thrush may spread to the roof of the mouth, tonsils, gums, or back of the throat.
Anyone can have oral thrush, but it is more prevalent in children and older adults because of their reduced immunity.This condition is a minor problembut can be severe and difficult to control if you have a weakened immune system.
Symptoms of oral thrush
Symptoms for children and adults
- White creamy lesions on the inner cheek and tongue, sometimes, roof of the mouth, tonsils, and gums
- Slightly raised lesions with the look of a cottage cheese
- Minor bleeding when the lesions are scraped or rubbed
- A burning sensation, redness, or soreness that may cause difficulty in eating or swallowing
- A cottony feeling in the mouth
- Cracked and red corners of the mouth
- Loss of taste
- Irritation,pain or redness under dentures
If oral thrush is related to cancer ora weakened immune system caused by HIV/AIDS, the lesions mayspread totheoesophagus and cause difficulty swallowing.This pain may feel as though food is stuck in your throat.
Breastfeeding mothers and Infants
Infants, in addition to the white mouth lesions, will have difficulty feeding andbecome irritable and fussy. They can transfer this condition to their mothers during breastfeeding, and the mother may pass it back to them as they feed.
Oral thrush has the followingsymptoms in breastfeeding mothers;
- Itchy, cracked, unusually red and sensitive nipples
- Flaky or shiny skin on theareola
- Painful nipples when nursing or between feeding
- Stabbing pains in the breast
When to report to the doctor
It is essential to report to the doctor when you notice white lesions in your mouth or your child’s. Though thrush is uncommon in healthy children, it is essential to let your doctor know to determine its cause if it develops.
Causes of oral thrush
Oral thrush develops when the immune system is not strong enough to repel harmful organisms or balance the good and bad microbes. When this happens, your body allows excessive multiplication of candida fungus, thereby leading to oral thrush.
People may have an increased risk of oral thrush infection if they have the following;
- Weakened immune system
- Vaginal yeast infections
- Medications such as prednisone
- Other oral conditions
Complications of oral thrush
Oral thrush is usually not a challenge for healthychildren and adults. However, oral thrush can be pretty severe for people with lower immunity from HIV/AIDS or cancer treatment.
When the immune system is weaker, thrush may spread to other parts of the body, including the oesophagus.
How to prevent oral thrush
The following will help you reduce your risk ofhaving an oral thrush infection;
- Rinse your mouth with water after using a corticosteroid inhaler or taking medications
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day
- Ensure your dentures fit correctly and clean them daily
- Don’t miss yourdentist appointment
- Watchyour meals and reduce the amount of sugar intake
- If you have diabetes, maintain a healthy blood sugar level
- Treat vaginal yeast infections quickly
- Treat dry mouth