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.