Oral thrush is a yeast infection of the mouth. The candida fungus causes oral thrush. This fungus is present in your mouth normally, but an overgrowth causes the infection. Oral thrush occurs commonly in infants, toddlers, and the elderly, but can affect anyone.
What Causes Oral Thrush?
Your mouth naturally contains bacteria and microorganisms that keep your mouth healthy. When certain medications, illnesses, and stress disturbs the balance the fungus candida can overgrow to cause thrush. Medications like birth control, antibiotics, and corticosteroids can cause thrush. Also, thrush can be caused by illnesses like dry mouth, uncontrolled diabetes, cancer, and HIV. Lastly, those who smoke cigarettes and/or wear dentures are at a higher risk of contracting oral thrush.
Thrush is associated with white, raised lesions on the tongue and inner cheeks. The lesions can spread to the roof of your mouth, throat, gums, and tonsils. In addition, they may bleed when you brush your teeth. If left untreated, the lesions may spread to other parts of the body.
Thrush can be treated with antifungal medications and mouthwashes. Thus, the infection clears up in a few weeks. It is more likely to remain at bay if your immune system is healthy. You should also replace your toothbrush daily until the infection clears.
This is where dentistry comes into play. Good oral hygiene is a great preventative measure for oral thrush. First, brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day. Next, use mouthwash once a day. If you use it more, you may disrupt the balance of bacteria and microorganisms in your mouth. Additionally, make sure to visit your dentist regularly. Lastly, quit smoking and limit your sugary food intake.
It’s surprising how many infections and health issues can be prevented or indicated through oral health. Oral thrush is no exception. Keep your health at optimum levels by regular visits to the dentist!