Also known as Candidiasis, oral thrush is a yeast fungi infection that belongs to genus Candida. It occurs on the mouth mucous membrane. Oral thrush symptoms and signs develop suddenly and persist for a lengthy duration. Foods or supplements that aid in restoring healthy bacteria that live inside the body are called probiotics. Instead of killing Candida fungus, probiotics enable the rebuilding of the body’s defense mechanism against yeast. This allows the body to naturally eliminate the overgrowth.
Symptoms and Causes of Oral Thrush
The term oral thrush is used to describe Candidiasis found in babies’ mouths, and if it has occurred in an adult’s throat or mouth, it is called moniliasis or Candidiasis.
Candidiasis starts in the form of a slightly raised yellowish to white spots inside the mouth having almost zero pain in areas underneath the spots.
- Pain in mouth, lesions (creamy-white) on inner cheeks and tongue, taste loss, lesions on gums, mouth roof and tonsils, cottage-cheese like lesions, cotton feeling in the mouth cavity, trouble feeding in infants and spread of lesions in esophagus thereby making swallowing difficult.
- During breastfeeding, symptoms include flaky or shiny skin on the areola, deep stabbing breast pain, remarkably sensitive/itchy or red nipples and the nipple is in pain when feeding.
Oral thrush is caused by Candida tropicali or Candida glabrata and mostly Candida albicans.
- Too much intake of sugar causes Candida because it requires moisture and sugar to survive.
- Excessive antibiotics use also causes oral thrush because the antibiotics eliminate useful bacteria thus disturbing the balance in the mouth.
- An immune system that is weak can also result in oral thrush.
- Having improper dentures causes constant irritation hence inflammation of mouth parts and gums resulting in candidiasis.
Natural Remedies for Oral Thrush
Oral thrush treatment may last some weeks or months, but it all depends on the severity of the condition. The given home remedies for oral thrush are supposed to ease inconveniences, discomfort and pain that come with oral thrush.
1. Good Oral Hygiene
Flossing once a day and brushing twice daily reduces the time you suffer an infection caused by oral thrush. Frequently replacing your toothbrush will keep you free of infection and using mouthwash will heal the oral thrush. People with dentures should ensure that they clean the dentures on a daily basis and soak them in clean water overnight. They should also rinse and dry them well before putting them back into the mouth.
2. Oral Rinses
- Salt Water. Take some salt (half a teaspoon) and add it to a cup of some warm water. Once the salt has dissolved, swish it in the mouth and spit out.
- Warm Water with Vinegar and Salt. Mix them in warm water then swish it around the mouth. It acts as home anti-fungal mouthwash.
- Hydrogen Peroxide Solution. The human body contains healthy bacteria which are the source of hydrogen peroxide which kills yeast. Take a mixture solution of diluted 3% hydrogen peroxide to kill the thrush as would the healthy bacteria.
- Vinegar. Apple cedar vinegar restores the PH level of the body enabling it fight overgrowth of Candida. Raw vinegar is best for oral thrush treatment. Due to its strong odor and taste, people take it diluted with water then take little sips in the course of the day. Alternatively, you can heat some water, add vinegar and some honey to it making some kind of tea. You can also sprinkle the vinegar over salads to make it more palatable.
3. Food Remedies
Go ahead to your cabinet and there are some amazing food that help relieve or get rid of oral thrush faster.
- Onions and Garlic. Both contain anti-fungal power; blend them in warm water then gargle in the mouth ensuring all areas of the mouth have been touched.
- Yogurt. Include yoghurt that has live cultures in the diet so that the healthy bacteria level in the mouth is improved. It contains healthy bacteria that help fight against thrush. Swish the yoghurt around the mouth when taking it then avoid drinking or eating anything soon after the yoghurt.
- Foods to Avoid. Avoid drinks and foods that contain yeast, dairy foods, mushrooms, dried fruit, smoked fish & meat, monosodium glutamate and pickles. All these foods have been known to be potential thrush triggers.
4. Herbal Remedies
Most herbal supplements have been known to contain anti-fungal supplements. However, there are herbal supplements that should be taken with care. If incorrectly consumed, may end up being poisonous. Therefore, people are advised to consult licensed practitioners prior to using herbal supplements.
- Pau D'arco Bark. This should be taken in form of tea to resolve thrush infection. Take two pau D’arco bark tablespoons and add to water (a quart).
- Tea Tree Oil. Tee tree oil can be used as mouthwash but should not be swallowed.
- Pomegranate Gel. This herb is quite effective when treating thrush that has been caused by improper dentures.
5. Special Cares
Tablets, drops, lozenges or yeast gel that contain miconazole or nystatin are general prescriptions made by doctors to get rid of thrush.
- Check Breasts. Mothers who have thrush can pass it on to their babies via breastfeeding. They are, therefore, advised to check for abnormally sensitive or red nipples, flaky or shiny areola skin and sharp pain which occur deep in the breast.
- Use Nursing Pads. Infected mothers should use nursing pads. This is because thrush fungal infection can spread to the clothing of the breastfeeding mother. Mothers should prevent this by choosing nursing pads that do not have a plastic barrier. Plastic is known to create an environment suitable for Candida growth.
- Clean the Nipple of Bottles. For babies, always use hot water to clean the baby’s pacifiers, nipples and bottles. There are mothers who use medication known as nystatin to clean nipples since babies and mothers can infect each other with yeast. After breastfeeding the baby, mothers should thoroughly dry their nipples then apply some lanolin lotion.
- Apply Grapefruit Seed Extract. Grapefruit seed extract has antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic and antiviral properties that help with oral thrush in kids. To prepare the extract, add 10 drops of it to an ounce of water. Apply the solution to the mother’s nipples using a clean piece of cotton wool. You can also wipe the inside of the baby’s mouth with the solution. It is recommended that you swab the mouth of the baby before breastfeeding and after you’re done, wipe the nipples with the solution.
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