Oral Thrush Symptoms, Causes, Treatment & Prevention
Posted on 4/11/2022 by SmileCOS Dentistry
|Oral thrush is a somewhat common issue here given that most kids will have it at least once in their lives. It is a yeast infection that appears as a white film on the tongue, inside of cheeks, and sometimes even on the roof of your mouth. This article will learn about the symptoms, causes, treatment, and prevention for this common condition.
What is Oral Thrush?
Oral thrush is an infection of the mouth caused by a fungus called candida. It often occurs in babies and children, but it can affect anyone. Oral thrush symptoms include white spots on your tongue that are usually surrounded by redness, discomfort while eating, bad breath, and teeth discoloration.
What Causes Oral Thrush?
As mentioned above, the fungus candida causes oral thrush. This fungus can be typically found in your mouth and throat; however, it is usually kept under control by other types of bacteria that live there as well. The use of antibiotics or steroids for extended periods upsets this balance because they kill off all kinds of bacteria - good and bad! When these harmful fungi are allowed to grow unchecked, you have a yeast infection known as oral thrush.
Other factors which may increase your likelihood of developing oral thrush include being hospitalized at birth, being fed through IVs or bottles during early childhood (when using pacifiers), having diabetes mellitus, receiving chemotherapy treatment, taking medications that suppress your immune system, having a weakened immune system due to HIV/AIDS, or taking antibiotics for an extended period.
Is Oral Thrush Contagious?
Yes, oral thrush is contagious. It can be spread through saliva, mucus, or skin lesions from an infected person. This means that you can get oral thrush by kissing someone who has it, sharing food or drinks with them, or using their utensils or toothbrush. People in close contact with a weakened immune system are at increased risk of developing oral thrush.
How is Oral Thrush Treated?
There are many treatments available to treat oral thrush. If you have had it before, your doctor may prescribe an antifungal medication that treats yeast infections by killing the fungus causing them. You can also use OTC medicated mouthwashes or sprays like Listerine and Scope if what you have is just a localized infection on your tongue or cheeks (this means no white patches). If you suspect that your child may have oral thrush, call your pediatrician and schedule an appointment as soon as possible.