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Oral Thrush: an alarming fungal infection you should know about

Posted on 18.01.2013 by perfectsmile

Oral ThrushTemporary in most cases, thrush can appear both in babies and in adults, becoming a real problem in some situations

Thrush is an oral infection caused by Candida albicans, a yeast fungus that attacks the mucous membranes of the mouth. Also known as candidiasis or moniliasis, thrush is triggered by a fungus present in the oral cavity of almost half of the population, especially of those wearing dentures.

The presence of Candida in someone’s mouth doesn’t necessarily mean he has to suffer any ill effects, but only becomes a problem when the chemistry of the oral cavity changes to favour it over other micro-organisms also present in the mouth. These changes usually occur as side-effects of drugs or medical treatments, some medical conditions and immune deficiencies. Bad fitting dentures make breaks in the mucous membranes of patients’ mouths, acting too as gateways for Candida to develop.

Risk patients Denture users; patients in a healing process after teeth replacement surgery; adults with diabetes or other metabolic issues; people under medication or suffering from medical conditions who experience dry mouth as a side-effect; chemotherapy patients; drug users; people with poor nutrition; patients on oral steroids or steroid metered dose inhalers; AIDS patients or people suffering other immune deficiencies; and even new-born babies are all in risk to suffer from thrush at some point.

Symptoms

  • Even though not easy to diagnose, risk patients and their families should bear in mind these symptoms to help rapidly identify thrush if it appears:
  • White, cream-coloured or yellow and slightly raised spots in the mouth
  • Slight bleeding when spots are scraped, even though there can be no pain underneath them
  • Uncomfortable burning sensation in the mouth and throat in adult patients

Diagnose As other diseases can have similar symptoms, it is important to get a thorough check-up with your doctor or your specialist in oral health care in London in order to diagnose a thrush infection. In the case of babies, the doctor will scrape their tongues and send samples for analysis, being able to treat it if results are positive, whereas in the case of AIDS patients, a thrush diagnoses can be a sign of general aggravation of their condition.

Treatment In the case of babies, thrush can either clear spontaneously without need of a treatment, or be treated with medicines. The infection can be although prevented by sterilising all baby’s feeding equipment as well as his mouth toys.

In the case of adults, treatment consists mainly on antifungal drugs in the form of pastilles. Investing in better fitting dentures, adjusting diabetes treatments, or using antifungal drugs along with oral treatment in the case of immune deficient patients can prevent the infection from developing again. In non-chronic cases, when the condition causing thrush is treated, the infection can more easily be cured.

Even when thrush turns the mouth oversensitive to brushes, performing a good oral hygiene is still very important for dental health

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