Thrush is a common name for oral infection caused by overgrowth of Candida fungi, which usually lives in the mouth of many people. This is a surface infection that can affect the corners of the mouth, the inside of the cheeks, the tongue, the upper jaw and the throat. Thrush is a common infection in infants. If the mother’s vaginal yeast infection is active, the newborn may acquire Candida fungi during childbirth. Thrush symptoms usually appear within 7-10 days of birth.
In older children or adults, thrush episodes are most commonly caused by diseases or drugs that affect the immune system, cancer chemotherapy, steroid therapy, or antibiotic therapy. Antibiotics cause thrush by killing the normal bacterial population in the mouth. Once these normal bacteria have disappeared, Candida fungi can reproduce freely and grow without competition. People with dry mouth have less saliva and are prone to thrush. Several drugs can cause dry mouth as a side effect.
Some people are more likely to get thrush. Examples include diabetics, as well as the elderly and the weak. People who are malnourished or suffer from immune defense diseases (such as cancer or HIV infection) are also at risk.
The initial symptoms may be poor taste and reduced mouthfeel. Thrush can form curd-like white patches in the oral cavity, especially on the tongue, sacral (top of mouth and/or back of throat) and mouth. If you try to scrape off the white surface of the patch, you will usually find red inflamed areas that may be slightly bleeding. The mouth may also have cracked, red, wet skin areas.
Sometimes thrush is painful but usually not. Babies suffering from painful patches may be irritable, irritated, and fed poorly.
Your dentist or doctor will usually diagnose thrush by examining your mouth for white patches that are scraped off with a tongue or gauze pad. If there is a problem with the diagnosis, your doctor or dentist can also send these samples of debris to the laboratory for testing. In some cases, biopsy is necessary. In the process, a small piece of skin was removed with a scalpel and examined in the laboratory.
In most patients, this is everything the diagnosis needs to be done. However, if you have frequent or persistent infections, your doctor or dentist may need to see if you have undiagnosed conditions such as diabetes, cancer, or HIV infection. In this case, blood tests or other types of diagnostic procedures may be necessary. Your doctor or dentist will ask you about the history of these diseases and recent medications.
Your doctor or dentist will also ask you about recent antibiotics or drugs that suppress the immune system, such as steroids or cancer chemotherapy drugs. Your doctor or dentist can also determine if you are taking certain drugs that are related to significant dry mouth.
With proper medical treatment, most simple thrush infections can be cured within 7 to 14 days.
Only use antibiotics as prescribed by your doctor and you can help prevent thrush by seeing the dentist’s pain in the mouth or around the denture. In order to prevent thrush in newborns, the doctor should check the pregnant woman whenever she has white vaginal discharge.
For AIDS patients or other patients who are taking the suppression of the immune system, doctors may prescribe antifungal drugs such as Mycelex as a long-term measure to prevent thrush. However, this prophylactic use remains controversial due to evidence that Candida fungi eventually became resistant to these drugs.
Doctors treat thrush with antifungal drugs such as Mycostatin (Nilstat), Mycelex, Nizoral, or Diflucan. For mild cases, the nystatin suspension can be mouthwashed and swallowed, or the clotrimazole lozenge can be dissolved in the mouth. For more severe cases, ketoconazole or fluconazole can be taken once daily for 7 to 10 days. Nystatin ointment can effectively treat the mouth.
After successfully treating thrush, your doctor may turn you from a drug suspected of causing severe dry mouth to a less dry drug. Only your doctor should change the prescription medication you are taking. Sometimes drugs cannot be replaced by medical reasons. In this case, you should drink more water and often use mouth moisturizers and saliva substitutes.