Oral Thrush – Causes and Symptoms

By | February 8, 2014

Oral thrush is seen in infants and adults. Oral thrush is caused by fungus called candida albicans. Oral thrush is a candida fungus that grows as white color patches on the mouth. It not only affects mouth but also extends to throat, esophagus and stomach.

Causes of oral thrush:

  • Suppression of immune system due to some medications
  • Improper wearing of dentures
  • Smoking develops candida fungus on mouth leads to thrush
  • Dryness of mouth
  • Deficiency of Iron
  • Excess use of anti microbial mouth washes
  • Candidates with Diabetes, anemia
  • Poor oral hygiene

Symptoms of oral thrush:

  • White color patches on tongue
  • If you wear dentures, redness around dentures
  • Alterations in taste sense
  • Discomfort in eating and drinking
  • Burning sensation in mouth
  • Bleeding from lesion if ruptured

Diagnosis of oral thrush:

  • Physical examination of the thrush on tongue
  • Microscopic examination of tissue on the lesion by rupturing the thrush
  • By taking throat cultures- In this cultures were taken from the throat and examine under microscope for presence of candida fungus
  • Endoscopic examination of stomach and esophagus if it extends to stomach
  • Blood tests for identification of fungus candida if it limited to tongue.
  • Biopsy- Samples of thrush is taken examined under microscope.

Treatment for oral thrush:

  • It can be treated by using anti fungal medications like Nystatin, Miconazole
  • Application of anti fungal gels on the oral thrush are used to treat oral thrush.
  • If a patient is not able to swallow, Anti fungal rinses are available.
  • Anti thrush medicines like Fluconazole is used to treat oral thrush
  • If oral thrush is due to side effect of antibiotics or corticosteroids, doctor replace the medications with other drugs
  • Maintain good oral hygiene

Prevention of oral thrush:

  • Oral thrush can be prevented by frequent intake of water if you have dry mouth.
  • If you wear dentures, remove dentures during bed time and clean properly before applying
  • Maintain good oral hygiene by brushing twice daily and flossing
  • Wash your mouth after meals
  • Quit smoking and chewing tobacco products
  • Avoid or limit the food containing yeast and sugars
  • Avoid excess usage of mouth washes
  • If you have diabetes, control of blood glucose levels prevent oral thrush
  • If you are using corticosteroid inhalations, wash your mouth after inhaling steroids.

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