Oral health is as important as keeping any other body function. There are ample numbers of health issues which arise because of poor oral health. Oral health problems are more evident in infants because they themselves are not able to maintain their oral health and need support of their parents. Sometimes parents themselves are not too aware about keeping oral health in place and the infant ends up having oral problems such as oral thrush. This problem can increase over time due to yeast infection and cause trouble to the baby in many ways. Today we will know about oral thrush problems and its effect on our health.
Oral Thrush Infection
Oral thrush is a yeast infection which develops in the mouth. Our expert Dr. Nitya Gupta, General Dentist from Elite Dental Care Clinic, Noida tells that oral thrush is a growing problem which is rising from past 3-4 years. This problem was evident in the last decade when people knew less about oral health and problems related to it. In these times this yeast infection is increasing because of sedentary lifestyle and lack of awareness about oral health in children.
This is more common amongst children but can happen to almost anyone. It creates yellowish bumps on the tongue and it may increase over time. Bumps can only go away with treatments that include medications and lifestyle changes. It can also occur in inner cheeks sometimes. Oral thrush can spread to other parts of body especially in children because they do not have a very strong immune system.
What Are Symptoms of Oral Thrush?
Oral thrush may not show any major symptoms initially. It only gets worse as the time passes and nothing is done to improve the problem. Here are some symptoms which might be visible in some time after the infant or person has oral thrush-
- Slight bleeding in bumps if they get scratched
- Cotton like sensation in the mouth
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Bad taste in mouth
- Soreness in mouth
- White or yellow patches that occur on the inner cheeks and tongue
- Cracked skin at the corner of your mouth
- Loss of taste
In some rare cases, if the yeast infection increases a lot, it might affect esohpagus which could spread the infection in other parts of the body and lead to complications. Symptoms of this oral health problem are visible after a month or more, otherwise it may feel like any other oral health problem.
Causes of Oral Thrush
Oral thrush is caused by growth of candida albicians fungus which is a major cause of majority of yeast fungus that occur in the body. Children are affected by this yeast infection more often because they touch various surfaces from where the infection can spread rapidly. When the immune function starts working properly, then the good bacteria keeps this yeast infection under control.
Another cause of oral thrush is inflammation in the immune system. If by chance the micro-organisms containing good bacteria are disrupted or there is a compromise or underlying problem that is affecting immune system, then oral thrush may arise. In such cases, the fungal bacteria can grow out of control and it becomes hard to control it without medications.
In adults cancer treatment can damage the healthy bacteria which might result to oral thrush. Treatments such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy kill the healthy cells and bacteria, making the body vulnerable to infections.
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Other condition that cause oral thrush are-
- Opportunistic infection
- High blood sugar levels
Can oral thrush spread to other people?
It is possible for oral thrush to spread fungus to people that are very close to them. It spread more through babies because many people are likely to kiss them and come close to their mouth. Whereas in adults, there are less chances of spreading this problem as they are less in contact with such close touch.
Oral thrush might also spread to other body parts and fungus from one part of body to another. This can happen if the person or child puts his fingers in mouth and then touches other parts of body. There are other conditions which are more common in adults than in children.
It is even possible for the expecting mother to transfer infection of her child if she is suffering from vaginal yeast infection during delivery. There are other conditions as well that might result to spread of oral thrush such as breastfeeding and breast yeast infection.
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Treatment options for Oral Thrush
Most common treatment options are based on medications and anti-fungal mouthwash. One must always consult a doctor or dentist before taking the following medications for oral thrush.
Diflucan- antifungal medication also called fluconazole
Mycelex Troche- This is another anti-fungal medication which is available in the form of lozenges.
Nystatin- it is an anti-fungal mouthwash which is used mostly for babies and it quite effective
Itraconazole- It is an antifungal medication that is used to treat people especially adults who suffer from HIV. This medicine is mostly used when other forms of medication or mouthwash are not effective to treat this problem.
Amphotericin B- This is another medication that is used in treating serious cases of oral thrush is babies and adults both.
Taking any of these following treatments, your oral thrush issue might go within few weeks and does not occur again. However, if proper oral health is not taken care off, then there could be chances that it might appear again.
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