The majority of people have a fungus in their mouth called candida. This is a normal fungus that exists in the oral cavity, and most people won’t have an issue with it. However, when something happens that causes the candida to overgrow, oral thrush can happen. Oral thrush is essentially a yeast infection in the mouth as a result of candida overgrowth.
Candida overgrowth often happens when the immune system has been compromised, as the immune system can’t keep the fungus in check. For most, oral thrush won’t go away on its own and will need professional treatment to completely absolve the problem and get your oral bacteria back to normal.
What Are the Symptoms and Who Is at Risk?
Oral thrush can be uncomfortable, but it doesn’t typically cause pain. You may see white lesions in your mouth that have a mild burning sensation, as well as a sore throat. Oral thrush can also affect your sense of taste, and you may have a dry mouth, lips, and tongue. You may also have difficulty swallowing, and notice redness around your lips or the corners of your mouth.
People most at risk for oral thrush are those who wear dentures, those who have a weak immune system, and people who have chronic dry mouth. Antibiotic therapy can also increase your risk for oral thrush, as it can disrupt the normal bacteria in your oral cavity . Those who smoke are also at greater risk to develop oral thrush.
How Is Oral Thrush Treated?
Oral thrush is best treated with antifungal medication, which can be administered in a few ways depending on how severe your condition is. Typically a mouth rinse that contains an antifungal medication is used for up to two weeks to clear up the infection. Your doctor may also prescribe a tablet or lozenge for you take .
If you have a severe infection, you may require an antifungal medication to swallow to treat your condition . In some mild cases, the thrush may go away on its own, but typically, medication or a mouth rinse is needed to help the infection go away.
Don’t Ignore Oral Thrush!
If you have any of the symptoms of oral thrush, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your doctor or dentist. Your dentist can help diagnose oral thrush and recommended testing as necessary to determine the cause. Your dentist can also prescribe any necessary mouth rinses or medications you need to help the thrush go away. Contact your experienced dentist today if you suspect you have oral thrush!