Mouth Thrush - Causes and Treatments

Mouth thrush or oral thrush is an infection of mouth that is caused by a fungus, Candidas also known as yeast. Yeast or Candidas are normally found on the body. These bacteria are not harmful in normal cases because the immune system of the body prevents them from multiplying to an extent to cause any harm to the body, but in cases when they find a path to reproduce themselves they can cause problems. They can cause infections in other body parts too and are the reasons behind the diaper rash in babies and vaginal yeast infection in women. These bacteria can cause infections to anyone, but the infections are common in infants, older adults and people with weaker immune system

Normally the candidas are present in the mouth. Digestive tract, and on skin, but other bacteria and microorganisms on the body do not let them spread. This delicate balance can be disturbed by some medications, infections, stress or other medical condition or merely by weakness of immune system. When they take over the other bacteria they spread and cause thrush. The disturbance of this balance can occur as a side-effect of some medications like antibiotics and birth control pills. Medical conditions like uncontrolled diabetes, HIV infection, dry mouth, cancer or hormonal imbalance due to pregnancy can also cause candidas to develop. Loose dentures can also facilitate candidas to grow. Smoking besides many other problems facilitates the yeast infections too. This infection can pass from a baby to the breastfeeding mothers and vice versa.

The symptoms of the mouth thrush suddenly appear as white, creamy and slightly raised lesions on the tongue, inner cheeks and tonsils. The lesions can cause mild to severe inconvenience and if tried to scrape out they bleed. They can cause pain in swallowing and a feeling like something has stuck in the mouth. In severe conditions they can spread to the liver, lungs and skin. When they spread into the esophagus the patient can get fever.

There are many effective natural remedies that have been used to cure the thrush at homes. First and foremost you should observe a good oral hygiene practices. Brush your teeth and scrape your tongue after every meal. Rinse your mouth with high quality mouthwashes or home made mouthwashes. This will reduce the chances of the fungus to develop and dwell in your mouth and the chances of you get mouth thrush would be minimal.

In order to protect babies from this infection breastfeeding mothers should take care of their hygiene. The best home remedy of mouth thrush is chewing garlic. The anti-fungal properties of garlic will help in killing the fungus. A home-made mouth wash with apple cider vinegar, salt, and warm water helps clean the mouth and kill the candidas. Onions when eaten in raw form helps a lot to alleviate the symptoms. You should include onion in your daily diet plan in salads. Coconut is also a wonderful remedy for thrush. Products like coconut milk, yogurt and buttermilk are also very beneficial for the treatment of mouth thrush.

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Causes of thrush

If you or your child has thin, white and velvety film on the tongue, roof of the mouth, gums, inner cheeks and tonsils: this is one of the symptoms of an infection known as Thrush. Before mentioning the causes of thrush lets have some discussion about the main convict behind his painful condition and the symptoms associated with this infection.

Thrush is a medical condition cause by Candida albicans, often called yeast. These bacteria live on the body like many other microorganisms. Under the normal circumstances, when there is no chance of these bacteria to multiply themselves they cannot cause any harm to the body. The good bacteria and the antibodies produced by the immune system prevent the over growth of these bacteria, but when the immune system gets weakened and lose the control over these bacteria, they start to multiply themselves faster and cause problems. When they grow they start dwelling in mouth and cause a thick creamy, velvety lesion over the tongue and the inner cheeks.

When these lesions are scrapped they bleed. You experience cotton like feeling in your mouth. You lose taste. You may also experience painful cracks at the corner of your mouth. In more severe cases the lesions spread all over the inner mouth to the tonsils and down to the back of the throat to the esophagus. It makes swallowing very difficult and painful and you have a persistent feeling like something is struck in your mouth and in the middle of your chest. Oral thrush is not so difficult to treat if you have a strong immune system, but with weaker immune system it becomes very difficult to get rid of this infection.

Some of the causes of thrush are discussed here.

A weak immune system is one of the biggest causes of thrush. Because of weak immune system a body becomes unable to produce enough white cells to keep the candida in check. Different types of medication to cure some other allergies can cause thrust. Antibiotics are also included in these medicines. The antibiotics kill the good bacteria that control the candida. The aids virus is also one of the causes of thrush. It damages white cells and thus the candida invade the body. Thrust is also one the signs of getting infected by HIV. Thrust can also be caused by cancer because cancer makes the immune system weak and the treatments like chemotherapy and radiation kills both the good and the bad bacteria. Thus, the candida get into the power.  Uncontrolled diabetes is also one of the triggering factors that cause candida to grow. High levels of sugar in the blood acts as the fuel for the growth of candida..

Now, when you know the main causes of thrush, you should take three steps. First, eat foods to strengthen you immune system like cucumber, garlic, onion and celery, etc. Second, practice good hygiene. Brush your teeth, scrape your tongue, and use your mouthwash regularly. Third, if you already have any of the symptoms try the remedies to get rid of this infection.

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