How do you detect that you have oral thrush? And, what is oral thrush after all? Read on for some trivia on symptoms, risks and treatment of oral thrush.
Causes, Symptoms, Risk, and Natural Treatment of Oral Thrush
Oral thrush is a health condition that occurs when a yeast infection develops inside the mouth and over the tongue. This condition is also referred as oropharyngeal candidiasis as it is caused by a fungus called the Candida Albicans. A small amount of this fungus is present in our mouth, without causing much harm. However, the problem begins when the fungus starts to grow uncontrollably and an infection develops.
Usually, oral thrush is more common among toddlers and infants. Generally, it is a mild infection that doesn’t cause serious complications. But, the condition can get problematic for those who have a weak immune system.
Causes of Oral Thrush
Oral thrush attacks your mouth when the C. Albicans fungus starts to grow in an uncontrollable manner. Usually, the immune system uses healthy and good micro-organisms to keep C. Albicans and other unhealthy microorganisms under control. In case of any disturbance in this balance, the harmful bacteria and fungi, however, begin to multiply thus causing an infection to develop.
Weak Immune System
Oral thrush occurs when the immune system is weakened due to certain medications that help to reduce the count of good microorganisms to prevent the infection naturally.
Cancer treatments, like radiation and chemotherapy, also kill healthy cells, thus making you more susceptible to oral thrush along with other infections.
Diseases and Medications
Adding further, diseases that attack the immune system, like AIDS, HIV, and leukemia also increase the risk of oral thrush.
Another illness that affects the immune system is diabetes and also contributes to oral thrush.
Sugars and bacteria can get accumulated on dentures thus promoting overgrowth of Candida and enabling it to overpower the good bacteria in the mouth, more specifically if you have taken excessive antibiotics in the near past or have a diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates. It is essential for people with dentures to take good care of them and maintain proper cleaning and hygiene standards to prevent accumulation of plaque on dentures.
Symptoms of Oral Thrush
In the initial stages, oral thrush may not show any significant symptoms. However, as the infection grows, the following symptoms may develop.
- White creamy bumps on the tongue, gums, inner cheeks, and tonsils
- Slight bleeding when these bumps are scraped
- Pain at the site of bumps
- Difficulty swallowing
- Dry, cracked skin at the corners of the mouth
Symptoms of oral thrush in infants and babies include:
- Difficulty feeding
Risk of Oral Thrush
Generally, oral thrush doesn’t include any serious complications in people with a healthy immune system. However, people with a weak immune system due to certain medical treatments or certain diseases may experience complications. If you have a weak immune system, the fungus can enter the bloodstream and spread all over the body. This can further cause problems in different body parts, like heart, brain, and liver.
Natural Treatment for Oral Thrush
Here are some natural and easy treatments for oral thrush.
- Unsweetened Cranberry Juice
Drinking a cup of unsweetened cranberry juice provides an acidic environment that makes it difficult for the Candida fungi to survive in the mouth.
As per research studies, it has been revealed that people who supplement cinnamon to their diets usually suffer from lesser Candida overgrowth as compared to those who don’t. As revealed in a Brazilian study, of the various health benefits of cinnamon, one is the anti-candidate compounds that help to treat oral thrush effectively.
- Fermented Vegetables
Fermented vegetables help to strengthen the immune system as well as boost microflora in the body. Pickles, kimchi, and sauerkraut provide essential probiotics to the body, thus helping restore the balance of bacteria in the body and the mouth. Regular consumption of fermented vegetables also helps to improve the immune system.
- Cultured Dairy
Adding probiotics and cultured dairy to your diet, such as goat milk kefir and yogurt, can help to kill the Candida effectively in the body by boosting probiotics thus helping to restore the balance of bacteria.
- Warm Starchy Vegetables
Vegetables like yams, sweet potatoes, mung beans, peas, kidney beans, lentils, carrots, butternut squash, and beets help to support the spleen in cleaning Candida from the body.
- Coconut Oil
Coconut oil contains antimicrobial properties. In addition, the combination of caprylic acid and lauric acid contained by coconut oil helps to kill harmful bacteria through topical application and ingestion. Coconut oil pulling os one of the most effective ways to promote healthy mouth.
These simple remedies can be used in conjunction with any treatment that you may be undergoing to eradicate oral thrush for good.