A fungal infection in the lining of the mouth caused by a growing fungus known as Candida albicans is called Oral Thrush. Fungal infections can be quite painful to have and can cause bleeding, especially if the infected person tries to brush their teeth or tries to scrape it off. If left unchecked and untreated, this fungal infection can spread to the roof of the mouth, the gums, and possibly even down the throat which could be another cause of further discomfort.
Who is at Risk?
Anyone can be affected by Candida though babies, toddlers, older adults and people with weakened immune system are more likely to get infected with it. This type of fungal infection may be considered a minor problem for healthy individuals but for those whose immune system is severely compromised, it can be a serious problem.
Newborn babies sometimes develop the infection during their first few months. A breast feeding mother whose baby has oral thrush may acquire a fungal infection from her child. This kind of thrush is called breast feeding thrush.
Symptoms Of Oral Thrush
Creamy, white lesions are the most common symptom, and can be found in the mouth, on one’s tongue, inner cheeks, the gums, tonsils and at times, even on the roof of the mouth. The look of the lesions caused by oral thrush can be compared to that of a cottage cheese. The symptoms can arise quickly but may stay on for quite some to clear.
On babies, it is not uncommon to find them with a white coating on their tongue as this may possibly be milk residue. But if you find that the white coating is on the side of the baby’s mouth and your baby is showing some signs of discomfort, it could be an indiction that your child has a yeast infection.
Nursing mothers who may have caught oral thrush from their baby can suffer from red, sore nipples and burning sensation in the nipples or breast, and possibly even vaginal yeast infection.
Prevention and Cure Of Oral Thrush
Oral thrush can be prevented. Some ways to reduce your risk of getting infected are: rinsing your mouth regularly or eating fresh culture yoghurt with lactobacillus, acidophilus or bifidobacterium.
There are several treatments for oral thrush such as drops, tablets or lozenges that have nystatin in it or yeast gel. Eliminating foods with too much sugar from your diet and going for a high fiber diet can also help to speed up the process of naturally curing your oral thrush.
Tips for Mothers who are Breastfeeding
For breastfeeding mothers, oral thrush may be prevented by doing the following:
Give sterilized water to your baby to drink after breast feeding so as to wash off any milk residue.
Make sure to thoroughly clean and sterilize the baby bottles and pacifiers and make sure to dry it off as well.
Allow your nipples to air dry in between feedings.
Yeast infections can be easily prevented and if infected, can be cured especially when it’s been discovered early. If you think your baby may have oral thrush, consult a physician before doing any treatment.