“Oh no!” That was my reaction when I first spotted thrush on my baby’s tongue – that creamy, white yeast overgrowth that no mom wants to see. Sometimes thrush can appear on the tongue; it may also affect the gums, roof of the mouth or inside the cheeks.
Sometimes what may appear to be thrush is actually milk residue. The way you can tell the difference is to try to wipe it away – milk will wipe off whereas thrush won’t. Also, when you try to wipe away thrush on baby’s tongue, sometimes there will be a little bleeding.
If it IS thrush on your baby’s tongue, then I feel for you! I don’t think there’s anything worse as a new mom then having your baby have any kind of suffering. Sometimes thrush can be more of a minor annoyance, but it’s generally uncomfortable for your child and can cause complications, such as:
*difficulty nursing or feeding/reluctance to nurse
*baby may be irritable for fussy
*loss of appetite
Thrush can also cause more colic-type symptoms as well. The yeast candida albicans is usually responsible for the thrush on your baby’s tongue. Yeast loves the warm, moist, sugar-rich environment of babies mouths. If your baby is breastfed, the yeast can thrive on the natural lactose content of breastmilk; in formula there are added sweeteners as well.
However, all babies’ mouths have these sugars present – so why do some babies get thrush and not others? There are a number of factors that can be involved, but one of the most common is the extremely prevalent use of antibiotics in child labor. Between c-sections and strep-B prophylaxis, antibiotic use is more common than ever before. Unfortunately, antibiotics wipe out the body’s natural resistance to yeast, and this is one of the main reasons why so many babies, as well as breastfeeding moms, develop thrush.
Some other factors that might be involved:
*If mom has vaginal yeast, the baby can catch it during delivery
*Premature babies are more vulnerable due to their immature immune systems
*Use of corticosteroids can also promote thrush overgrowth.
There are two primary ways that babies’ tongue thrush is treated:
1.) Prescription anti-fungals such as Nystatin or Diflucan (fluconazole)
2.) Home remedies, such as gentian violet
The truth is both of these approaches are imperfect solutions and I’m going to explain why. First of all, prescription anti-fungals such as Diflucan carry the risk of serious side effects and they do absolutely nothing to keep the yeast from growing back. Nystatin is safer but has a fairly low effectiveness rate and can also cause the yeast to mutate and become more resistant to treatment.
On the other side of the coin, ironically some home remedies can be less than safe as well. This is a big concern to me because I know there are many well-meaning moms looking for safer alternatives without having all the information. For example, gentian violet is a known carcinogen and can even cause mouth sores and ulcers – exactly the type of problem you’re trying to get rid of!
I’ve also seen products advertised for baby thrush that contain things like colloidal silver, tea tree oil and oregano oil, which each have safety concerns as well.
My own personal experiences with thrush made me realize how hard it was to find good information on how to cure baby’s tongue thrush naturally and permanently! Since I have so much experience in this area and was determined not to use drugs, I ended up researching and collaborating with other health professionals to develop and comprehensive approach to treat infant thrush quickly and safely, without side effects. Well, there is one side effect: better health all around!
The secret is to kill the yeast – safely and naturally – and also to cure the imbalance that allowed the yeast to grow out of control in the first place. This second step is so crucial, not only to protect your child from developing long term yeast related health problems, but also to protect your child from all kinds of opportunistic infections.
You will see the thrush on baby’s tongue disappear and will also feel good knowing you did the best thing for your child’s health.