3899 Oral-thrush

Oral thrush

Oral thrush

This is a condition in which the fungus Candida albicans accumulates on the lining of your mouth. Oral thrush causes creamy white lesions on the tongue or inner cheeks. These lesions can be quite painful and may bleed when you scrape them slightly. Occasionally, oral thrush may spread to the roof of the mouth, gums, tonsils and back of the throat.



Oral thrush can affect anyone, but it's more likely to occur in babies and people who wear dentures, use inhaled corticosteroids or have a weak immune system. Those who have a weakened immune system, tend to have symptoms of oral thrush that are quite severe and difficult to control.



What causes oral thrush?



Oral thrush can occur when one's immune system is weakened by drugs, disease or when antibiotics disturb the natural balance of microorganisms in one's body. An individual is more susceptible to oral thrush infection if he or she has cancer, HIV/AIDS, diabetes mellitus or vaginal yeast infections.



Risk factors



Anyone can develop oral thrush, but the infection is more common in some individuals. Risk factors include:



• Wearing dentures

• Infancy

• Having a weak immune system

• Having other health conditions such as anemia or diabetes

• Undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer

• Having conditions that cause dry mouth (xerostomia)

• Smoking

• Taking medications such as antibiotics or inhaled corticosteroids



What are the complications associated with Oral thrush?



Oral thrush may return even after it's been treated and can be more serious in people who have a weakened immune system due to cancer, HIV.



If one has a compromised immune system:



• Oral thrush is likely to spread to other parts of the body such as digestive tract, liver and lungs.

• An individual may have severe symptoms in the mouth or oesophagus which can make eating painful and difficult.

• The infection can also spread to the intestines, often making it difficult to receive sufficient nutrition.



Prevention



Here are few measures that may help you to reduce the risk of developing Candida infections:



• Rinse your mouth with water or brush your teeth after taking medication such as the corticosteroid inhaler.

• Practice good oral hygiene

• Treat any vaginal yeast infections

• Use fresh culture yogurt when you take antibiotics.

• Watch what you eat. It's important to limit the amount of sugar and yeast containing foods that you eat because they may encourage the growth of Candida.



Depending on the severity of the oral thrush, your doctor will prescribe appropriate medications. The goal of the oral thrush treatment is to stop the spread of the fungus, but the best option may depend on your age, overall health and the cause of the infection.



 


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