Oral thrush is a condition whereby fungus Candida albicans accumulates on the mouths lining. It is caused by the Candida fungus, also referred to as yeast. It mostly occurs in toddlers, babies, older adults and people with a weakened immune system. It causes white cream- like lesions on the tongue or in the inner cheeks. These lesions may bleed when scrapped and they are painful. Sometimes they spread to the roof of the mouth, the gums, the tonsils and the back of the throat.
Candida occurs in the mouths of most people especially those with dentures. It becomes a major problem when there is a change in the chemistry of the oral cavity that promote it. These changes can be due to the after effects of antibiotics or treatments such as chemotherapy, diabetes, drug abuse, malnutrition and AIDS. People suffering from this condition have moist and pale pink spots on their lips. There is also a creamy white substance and slightly raised lesions in the mouth. There is normally no pain in the area underneath the spots. In adults it causes an uncomfortable burning sensation in the mouth and the throat.
Thrush is diagnosed by scrapping the tongue and sending it for analysis. The doctor looks for distinctive white lesions on the mouth, tongue or cheeks. A microscopic examination of the tissue from a lesion can confirm its diagnosis.
If the thrush occurs in a baby, it is may clear spontaneously without treatment and it may be prevented by sterilizing all feeding equipment and mouth toys. Also, giving the baby sterilized water immediately after a milk feed rinses away the milk thus reducing the population of Candida within the oral cavity.
Once the condition is treated, the thrush itself is able to be cured. Treatments with anti fungal medicines in the form of pastillies that are sucked or oral suspensions that are held in the mouth before swallowing.
Western medicines tend to treat thrush with drugs such as Diflucan and Nystatin. These keeps the condition in check for a while however, it does not remove the infection completely. Also taking these drugs for too long might cause further yeast infection complications with severe side effects. Natural homeopathic means have been embraced by many people as a way of treating oral thrush. This destroys the overgrown yeast from the body which restores the imbalance that causes the problem.