Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Oral Thrush In Adults : Treatment, Symptoms and Prevention

Oral thrush occurs when Candida albicans fungus begins to grow uncontrollably in the mouth. This yeast infection develops on inside the mouth and tongue. This fungus, in small amount is harmless and normally lives in the mouth. This infection generally does not cause any complications.

The Candida albicans fungus creates infection in women's vagina, which is known as yeast infection (vaginal thrush treatment)

Normally, healthy adults with good immune system do not usually get thrush, as microorganisms in them keep Candida albicans under control. When the immune system becomes weak, harmful bacteria begin to multiply, causes the infection.

The oral thrush is often occur in infants (oral thrush in babies), toddlers, elderly, people using dentures, smoking, pregnancy and patients such as diabetes, AIDS and who are getting chemotherapy.
  1. The immune system may be weakened by certain medications.
  2. Diseases like Diabetes, HIV, AIDS, and leukemia.
  3. Chemotherapy and radiation for Cancer treatment can kill healthy cells to weaken the immune system.

Symptoms and Signs of Oral Thrush

  1. Redness in the mouth
  2. White spots or bumps inside the mouth, gums, tongue. The bumps may be painful.
  3. Cracks and itching at the corners of the mouth where your lips meet
  4. Sore throat
  5. Difficulty swallowing
  6. Loss of taste or an unpleasant taste in the mouth
Oral Thrush. Note the white bumps on tongueOral Thrush. Note the redness and white bumps on tongue
Oral Thrush. Note the redness and white bumps on tongue

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

There are a number of preventative measures that can reduce your risk for your oral thrush:
  1. Rinse your mouth with saltwater.
  2. Eat unsweetened yogurt to maintain good bacteria.
  3. Use a soft toothbrush to avoid scraping the lesions. Brush your teeth twice a day
  4. Floss daily.
  5. Use a new toothbrush every day until your mouth gets rid of thrush.
  6. Do not use a normal mouthwash.
  7. If you use dentures, remove them every night and clean them properly.
  8. Stop smoking if you smoke.
  9. Eat a low sugar and low carbohydrate diet.

How Is Oral Thrush Treated?

It is important to see your doctor if you have thrush.
Though oral thrush is not serious, it can become serious if left untreated for long due to chances of the infection spreading further into your body.

Your Doctor will treat it depending on your age, health and the extent of infection. The treatment will be for the growth and spread of the fungus. You will be given an oral anti-fungal medication in the form of a tablet or mouth wash to kill the yeast. You have to keep the tablet in your mouth until it dissolves. Swish the mouthwash in your mouth and then swallow.

Home Remedies

Normally, the oral thrush is treated by applying oral suspensions locally, however, an internal medication may be needed in severe cases.

Following are some of the natural oral applications for oral thrush which you can try at home to treat your infection. You should consult your Doctor before beginning any treatment.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has been in use as a home remedy for oral thrush in adults for a long time. Add a teaspoon of raw apple cider vinegar into 50 ml water and apply on the affected area.

Sodium Bicarbonate Rinse

Add one teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate in 1 cup of warm water and gargle throughly. then spit. You could use half a teaspoon of salt instead of sodium bicarbonate. Repeat 3-4 times a day.

Coconut Oil

The coconut oil is effective in curing yeast and fungus.
Put some extra virgin coconut oil into your mouth and swirl it in your mouth for about 5 minutes. Then spit out and rinse with water.

Tea Tree Oil

Pour a few drops of tea tree oil on a wet cotton and apply it on tongue at all areas.

Probiotic Yoghurt

Eat plain yogurt containing Lactobacillus acidophilus.


  1. Oral candidosis, In Therapeutic Guidelines Limited; 2013 Jul, online.tg.org.au/complete/ 
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Oral candidiasis, www.cdc.gov/fungal/candidiasis/thrush/
  3. NHS Choices. Oral thrush – adults, www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Oral-thrush-adults/Pages/Introduction.aspx
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