Last Update May 25th, 2017
What is oral thrush and how can I treat it?
You may have experienced the common itchy menace in your lady parts down there called yeast infection. Majority of women experience it and it’s nasty. Now, picture this, the same discomfort in your mouth. this is often called oral thrush.
Oral thrush, commonly referred to as oropharyngeal (oral) candidiasis is a yeast infection that affects the mucous membrane of the mouth. It is caused by Candida albicans which is a fungus from the genus Candida.
The first symptom of oral thrush is white bumps form on the inner cheeks and the tongue.
The infection is often mild and rarely causes complications, but it can get worse for people with weak immune systems due to disease like HIV or due to medications. The fungus may enter the blood stream and spread to all parts of the body. Eventually, it may affect the brain, heart, liver and skin, especially in people with weakened immune system; cancer and HIV. Furthermore, some strains of Candida are resistant to medication and can worsen the condition. It is contagious and can be transmitted from one person to another.
How Is Oral Thrush Diagnosed?
Diagnosis of oral thrush is made by examining the mouth (funnily enough). Often the symptoms in question are the white lesions on the mouth, tongue, and cheeks. The doctor may scrape the lesion to reveal the reddened and tender skin that might bleed. Then, the tissue from the area is examined under a microscope to diagnose the disease.
What are the symptoms of Oral Thrush?
- Creamy white lesions on the inner cheeks and mouth, and sometimes going over the gums, back of the throat and tonsils.
- Painful lesions that bleed and can be painful when you brush your teeth.
- Pain and difficulty in swallowing.
- Fever, sometimes, if the infections cross past the esophagus
What causes oral thrush?
Typically a small amount of the fungus is present in the mouth of a healthy person and doesn’t cause any harm. Candida does not overgrow because of the “good” bacteria also present in the mouth to keep it in check. However, some factors like illnesses, medication and stress may cause an imbalance and make Candida to grow out of control, resulting to thrush.
Some medications can actually help cause oral thrush.
Probiotics are the good bacteria, mold, and fungi that live naturally in the mouth and form a substantial part of the immune system. Certain medications such as antibiotics contraceptives and corticosteroids destroy the healthy balance of microorganisms in the mouth. They reduce the number of the healthy microorganisms that offer natural protection from harmful microorganisms.
Antibiotics eliminate both the harmful and healthy microorganism that keeps the fungus in check. Excessive use of antibiotics reduces the healthy probiotics that protect from candida.
Birth control pills can also encourage the growth of candida. Research has shown that it can cause the recurrence of the yeast infection.
Oral thrush can also be a complication of cancer and cancer treatments in patients. Chemotherapy and radiation treatment for cancer kill healthy cells and enhance the susceptibility to oral thrush and other fungal infections. The treatments weaken the immune system, and it can no longer control the growth of harmful bacteria. Thus they multiply and spread throughout the body.
Weak immune system can help oral thrush thrive.
The immune system of a healthy person is strong enough to fight harmful microorganisms such as Candida albicans fungus, bacterial and viruses. A weak immune system attracts opportunistic infections like oral thrush that an otherwise healthy person can fight. Certain illnesses and conditions can cause a weakened immune system and makes the body weak and unable to fight harmful microorganisms.Often such infections are early indications of immune deficiency diseases like HIV.
Uncontrolled or untreated diabetes causes spikes in high sugar levels in the saliva. People with diabetes are more susceptible to oral thrush. Candida is yeast and yeast feeds on sugar. Candida is more addicted to sugar than you are. It benefits more from sweets and cake than you. It uses the sugar as fuel its growth. So before you take a bite of that piece of yummy cake, think once more.
Dentures and oral thrush.
People with dentures often get oral thrush. More so if a person with dentures takes a diet that is high in sugar and refined carbohydrates and does not clean their teeth on a daily basis. This is because the yeast uses the sugar build up in the dentures to grow and multiply. The plaques accumulate and allow microorganisms to build up and encourage the growth of candida fungus.
Vaginal yeast infections
Both vaginal yeast infections and oral thrush are caused by the same fungus. If you are pregnant and have a yeast infection you can pass the infection to your newborn baby during delivery. The newborn then develops oral thrush. During breastfeeding, the babies can pass the infection from to the mother.
Natural oral thrush remedies
Oral thrush care is important to prevent recurrence of infections. You can prevent it by simple routines and natural foods.
Good oral hygiene
If you want to starve Candida and keep it away from you for good, practice good oral hygiene. Ensure that you brush your teeth at least twice a day. Also, floss at least once a day to get rid of the buildup of bacteria from between your teeth. Ensure that you visit your dentist regularly especially if you have diabetes, if you smoke or use dentures.
Why dentures? Well dentures can allow the buildup of plaque and sugars in the teeth, and oral thrush thrives off of sugars. Clean dentures thoroughly and remove them when sleeping. Soak the dentures overnight in vinegar or a cleanser.
If you use mouthwashes and sprays, only use them once or twice a day. Be careful to avoid overusing them because they can disrupt the normal and natural balance of microorganisms in the mouth.
If you have oral thrush already, use a soft toothbrush to avoid poking the lesions because they may bleed and worsen the infection. Replace your toothbrush on a daily basis until the infection clears. You can use salt water mixture to rinse your mouth after meals.
If you have asthma rinse your mouth after using a corticosteroid inhaler to reduce the risk of infections.
Treatment for thrush in the mouth.
If you are pregnant and have a yeast infection, seek prompt medication attention to avoid passing the infection to your baby.
Smoking encourages the growth of candida. You might have to quit smoking especially if you have recurrent infections. Seek help on how to beat the addiction.
A proper diet is vital
Our diet and lifestyle contribute significantly to the growth of oral thrush. Even with treatment, the infection may recur if you have a weak immune system and lead an unhealthy lifestyle.
Because yeast thrives on sugar, be sure to starve them by maintaining appropriate blood sugar levels. Limit the amount of the sugar and food that have yeast such as beer, bread, and wine. Highly processed and refined carbohydrates create an acidic environment that promotes the growth of the fungus. Eat honey and maple syrup in a small amount because they are also high in sugar. Limiting sugar consumption significantly reduces the recurrence of candida infection. Alcohol also weakens the immune system and also promotes growth of candida
Also, eat unsweetened yogurt to restore the balance of the microorganisms in the mouth and the body. It is recommended to take yogurt especially after taking a dose of antibiotics.
Other natural oral thrush remedies
Just like yogurt, fermented vegetables help to restore the balance of microorganisms in the body. It contributes to strengthen the immune system because it contains probiotics in the mouth and gut. Regular consumptions improve the immune system over time.
Cinnamon has anti-candida properties that control thrush. People who regularly consume cinnamon suffer from less growth of candida and therefore less oral thrush.
Naturally, yogurt has millions of healthy bacteria that kill harmful microorganisms and restores the right balance of the microbial flora. Use plain unsweetened yogurt since candida feeds on sugar in flavored and sweetened yogurt.
Coconut oil has antimicrobial properties such as auric acid and caprylic acid that kill harmful candida when ingested or applied to the affected areas. Research shows that is more effective than fluconazole that is often prescribed for candida. Coconut oil detoxifies and cleanses the oral cavity and makes the mouth sterile. Put 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil in the mouth and roll it between your teeth for 10-20 minutes. Don’t swallow because it contains bacteria and harmful organisms. Spit the oil out and then rinse the mouth with warm water. Then brush your teeth.
Oregano oil also destroys bacteria, viruses and other disease-causing microorganisms. It has powerful antifungal property and is effective to stop the growth of candida. Mix 1-2 drops of oregano oil in water and swish in the mouth. Do not swallow.
Baking soda and vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has natural enzymes that kill candida overgrowth and therefore prevent oral thrush. It also restores the normal PH level that the body needs to kill candida. If you are breastfeeding you can apply baking soda and vinegar on the nipples to reduce the infection – this can also drastically help prevent the spreading of thrush to your baby (read more about oral thrush in babies here). Use one tablespoon of vinegar in the mouth every day until the infection clears. Dilute with warm water and add honey because it has a strong taste and odor.
People with a weakened immune system may use probiotics supplements. They help to restore the healthy microbial flora in the mouth. Once the good bacteria grows in number, they kill the harmful overgrowth of fungus. The healthy bacteria produce hydrogen peroxide that kills the yeast.
Using hydrogen peroxide as mouthwash kills off yeast just as the healthy bacteria would. Just don’t expect the nicest tasting mouthwash you’ve ever used! It’s not really very pleasant.
Tea tree oil is an herbal supplement that has antifungal properties. It can resolve thrush infection when used as mouthwash. But be careful not to swallow because it is toxic. It is also great to pub on any skin that is suffering from skin irritations such as thrush or jock itch.
Now you know what is causing you oral thrush, and how to use natural oral thrush remedies.
However, If you find you are not having any luck with the natural remedies, or just want to speed up your healing then the next step is to look at the most popular products on the market for helping you treat your oral thrush.
What over the counter oral thrush medicine will help cure thrush in 2017?
For oral thrush care, doctors often prescribe antifungal medications. They are available as tablets, lozenges or liquid mouthwash. Some of the best available over the counter oral thrush medicines include;
An oral thrush treatment often prescribed for older children and adults.
It is an antifungal lozenge that you put in your mouth and keep it in until it dissolves.
It is an antifungal mouthwash that you swish around in your mouth and then spit out.
It’s an oral antifungal medication used for people who are resistant to initial treatments or who have HIV or AIDS.
OUR TOP GIVE over the counter oral thrush treatments are:
Candida cleanses veggie caps is the best oral thrush treatment that cleanses, restores and strengthens your immune system. It is a natural formula that works in three ways. One, it contains effective antifungal properties such as caprylic acid, oregano, wormwood, and aloe Vera that eliminate harmful yeast.
Secondly, these capsules boost your immune system by restoring the healthy balance of microorganisms. It contains probiotics such as lactobacilli acidophilus that replenish the healthy bacteria levels. When the number of healthy bacteria increases, this prevents buildup of harmful fungi. Thirdly, it has cellulose and protease enzymes that restore hydrochloric acid levels in the gut. The acid is essential in fighting harmful bacteria and fungi when they enter the digestive system.
The downside is that you may experience flu-like symptoms as you use the product as a result of the cleansing process. When the harmful microorganisms die, they release toxins thus the reasons for the symptoms. You may need to take a lot of water to remove the toxins from the body and lessen the effects.
Amazon review – (5 / 5) Jeaniemumon – “I had been battling candida for years. I took Diflucan several times and also tried other natural products with no success and I was very frustrated. I tried Candida Cleanse along with a probiotic supplement and I am thrilled that in only 3.5 weeks it worked! I took one capsule with breakfast and one with dinner and drank a lot of water along with cutting back on sugar and carbs, it was easy. The die off symptoms (body aches) occurred at 3 weeks and lasted for about 4 days. Purely Holistic gives you a 2 month supply at a great price which I couldn’t find elsewhere. I love this product and highly recommend it!”
Ultra Probiotics is a natural oral thrush remedy. It contains beneficial strains of lactobacillus that fights yeast infections and enhances the immune system. It is a high dose probiotic with 30 billion colony forming units of healthy bacteria per dose. By restoring the healthy bacteria it prevents recurrence of fungi overgrowth. Thus Ultra Probiotics boosts the functionality of the immune system. It improves your overall health and health of your gut.
The downside is it may interfere with medication. Therefore you need to consult your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have a weak immune system or you’re taking antibiotics before you start using this product.
Amazon review – Anandon – (4 / 5) – “We all know how good probiotics are for our gut. Till now I usually just consumed yogurt for that but this a nice additional supplement. Honestly you won’t experience an over the night miracle or change using this tablet but it will gradually make your gut more healthy. It’s not an energy booster but over a period of time there is a definite improvement in digestion and bowl movements. My mornings are now much better. You can actually research all the individual components and this little bottle has a lot of useful strains that will help your body. For females it also helps keep yeast infection at bay which is and extra plus for me.”
Potent Candida Cleanse is another effective oral yeast infection treatment. It contains powerful antifungals, enzymes and probiotics. It eliminates harmful yeast by first starving and killing, then it repopulates the gut with healthy bacteria and cleanses and detoxifies the system. Potent Candida Cleanse prevents recurrence because it strengthens the immune system to ward off any infections that recur. It has natural ingredients such as caprylic acids, lactobacilli, aloe Vera cellulace wormwood and oregano that kills yeast cells without adverse side effects. It has no artificial ingredients.
The down side is that you will need to consult your doctor first if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have medical conditions. Also, it may take a few weeks before you see the changes, but stick with it.
Amazon review – Lucinda Vincent – (5 / 5) – “I am going to be absolutely candid(a) here. I hadn’t had a yeast infection in years. I bought this product for a stubborn yeast infection that would not go away after a few diet changes and natural remedies that failed. I also bought a one day treatment, ovc medication in case this stuff didn’t work either. The ovc treatment is still sitting in my medicine cabinet. I took two of these and within a day, body balance back to non-irritating. After two days, completely gone. I did not take any more nor have I had to but I am going to start because this is really great for healthy digestion too. Good product. The best cure I have found to date.”
Best Candida Cleanse is a mouth thrush treatment with powerful antifungal properties. The natural herbs clear candida overgrowth and restores the healthy balance of microbial flora in the body to wade off infections. Unlike other creams that only cover up the underlying problems, it attacks yeast cells and removes them from your body.Best Candida Cleanse is formulated with natural anti- thrush ingredients such as caprylic acid, oregano and that effectively clear yeast infections without need for other medication.
The downside is that the pills are huge. If you have a problem with swallowing pills this may be challenging for you. Some customers complain that it has a strong odor but then you may persevere for the better health.
Amazon review: Angela Loushinon – (5 / 5) – “Yeast infection was gone in a week.”
Last but by no means least, Aquaflora is an oral thrush treatment that controls candida overgrowth. Aquaflora is effective against multiple strains of candida. It has natural ingredients that have triple potency strength against yeast cells unlike other brands. It is a safe and tested product that is manufactured with high standards. It is colorless and odor less and is ideal for people who detest strong odors.
The downside is that the bottles are small in content therefore you may need more than one bottle to clear the infection.
Amazon review: – lizzyt – (5 / 5) “I’ve suffered from recurrent yeast infections. I saw this product at Whole Foods and thought, hey, what the heck, I’ll try it. I’ve now used it for about six weeks and, wow, absolutely no symptoms of yeast overgrowth- whatsoever. I’m still rather stunned that it works this well but if I can get through another cycle without one yeast infection, well, then I’ll be 100% positive that this product has successfully changed my life!!!!”
So there you have it, we hope that our guide to oral thrush, what causes it and how to treat it has helped you in your battle against the common but irritating ailment.
Remember to treat your body kindly and continue to focus on prevention of thrush, as once you have it, it will always be a week or so before it clears up, no matter the route you take to cure it. Good luck!