There are many definitions of thrush. It’s sometimes used to describe yeast infection as a category, yeast infection in the mouth, and even yeast infection in a baby’s mouth.
Here we will focus on thrush in the mouth, or oral thrush, both for adults and for babies. Oral thrush can exist on the tongue, on the insides and roof of the mouth and even spread to the esophagus. In some cases it can be very painful and may restrict one’s diet.
What are the causes of mouth thrush?
Our body naturally has yeast cells. These occur in the mouth, skin, vagina and even in the rectum. Under normal conditions, yeast cells are kept at bay by other microorganisms in our body, and it’s only when we become deficient in those microorganisms that yeast gets a chance to grow and become a problem.
Oral thrush can occur simply by taking antibiotics or being on chemotherapy. Having thrush and diabetes, or HIV is not uncommon because of the weakened immune system. Even wearing dentures may result in thrush. All of these create conditions in which ‘good” microorganisms are depleted and the yeast cells thrive.
What are the symptoms of oral thrush?
Typical symptoms include white, yellow or cream colored marks on the tongue and in the mouth.
Avoid scraping the marks off since this causes cuts on the tongue. If you think you may have oral thrush, do a search on the Internet for “pictures of oral thrush” and then you can compare to your own situation.
How to treat thrush
When planning a treatment for thrush, think short and long term. In the short term, there are many oral medications that will take care of it and your doctor can advise you on what to take. If you are looking for a natural treatment for thrush, then consider garlic, or yogurt with acidophilus.
Alternatively, you can find books on the Internet for treating oral thrush naturally. Which ever path you take, try and understand what was the root cause and address that so that thrush does not reoccur.
Thrush in infants
Yeast infections in the form of oral thrush or diaper rash are common in newborns. The combination of thrush and breastfeeding can result in thrush being passed to the mother, even when the baby just has diaper rash.
Nipples with yeast infection may appear very red and be extra sensitive. There may be pain between feedings and the pain may run deep in the breast both during and after breastfeeding. Gential violet is a solution that is popular for mothers with yeast infection on the breast.
Thrush and HIV
Thrush occurs because of a deficiency in the immune system and is common in HIV patients, but is thrush an early symptom of HIV? Not necessarily, for as mentioned earlier there are many other causes. However, the appearance of thrush for an HIV patient might indicate changing conditions in the immune system and should be discussed with one’s doctor.
If you think you have oral thrush, consult your doctor before taking steps to cure it. The symptoms of oral thrush are similar to other conditions, so it’s best to know what is the issue as soon as possible.