Oral Thrush in Children and Adults

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Oral thrush is a minor condition wherein there is an overgrowth of the yeast, Candida albicans, in the mucus lining of the tongue and mouth. The fungus infection will result to whitish cream sores in the affected area, usually on the tongue and inner cheeks, which can mildly bleed and be painful. The sores may sometimes spread to the roof of the mouth, gums, tonsils and back of the throat.

Oral Thrush
Oral Thrush

Thrush may also appear in other parts of the body including the genital area and buttocks, specifically for babies and young children that still wear diapers but there is a different name for Candida overgrowth in the various parts of the body. Oral thrush can be managed at home with apt first aid treatment. To learn more about oral thrust in children and adults and other oral problems, register to join in First Aid Courses.

Risk Factors of Oral Thrush

Oral thrush can affect anyone of any age. The candida fungus is naturally present in different parts of the body such as, the mouth, digestive tract and skin for any healthy person. The bacteria and microorganisms make sure that no overgrowth occurs, however, having certain conditions predisposes a person to oral thrush leading to fungal overgrowth. The following lead to a compromised immune system that may result to oral thrush:

  • Medical conditions
    • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/ AIDS
    • Cancer – chemotherapy
    • Diabetes mellitus
    • Anemia
    • Vagina yeast infection
  • Use of certain medications:
    • Corticosteroids
    • Antibiotics
    • Birth control pills
  • Age – infants and elderly
  • Smoking
  • Dry mouth
  • Ill-fitting dentures
  • Pregnancy

Symptoms of Oral Thrush

The onset of symptoms of oral thrush may not be immediately evident. Symptoms can either manifest abruptly and may remain for a prolonged period of time. These can include:

  • Whitish cream sores on the tongue and inner cheeks, but may sometimes spread to the roof of the mouth, gums and tonsils
  • Lesions with a cottage cheese-like form
  • Mild bleeding if the lesion scraped
  • Pain
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Redness and cracking at the mouth corners
  • Cottony sensation in the mouth
  • Loss of taste
  • Fever

First Aid Treatment for Oral Thrush

Mail goal of treatment is put a cease to the quick spread of the sores. Treatment will depend on the age and infection cause.

  • For infants and nursing mothers
    • Get treatment for both infant and mother.
    • Antifungal creams and medications should be given to the child and for the breasts.
    • For pacifiers and bottles, rinse the nipples on a mixture of equal vinegar and water. This will disable fungal growth.
  • For children and healthy adults
    • Eat unsweetened yogurt
    • Take acidophilus liquid or capsules
  • For adults with compromised immune systems
    • Antifungal medication for 10 to 14 days
    • Amphotericin B

Prevention of Oral Thrush

There are several ways to prevent oral thrush. The following tips can be followed:

  • Follow good oral hygiene and dental practices.
  • Do not use mouthwashes or sprays.
  • Minimize the amount of sugar and yeast-containing foods in diet.
  • Stop smoking to prevent oral thrush.

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