What Is Thrush?

Many dental patients have never heard of the common fungal infection known as thrush. Once you know what to look for and what to do if you think you may have oral thrush, you will be in a much stronger position to prevent it or get it treated promptly.

thrush

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Thrush? How Is It Treated?

Thrush is usually caused by an overgrowth of Candida albicans, a yeast normally present in the mouth in small amounts and kept in balance by other microorganisms. Oral thrush is often diagnosed by a physician or dentist if the following symptoms are present:

  • White/cream/yellow bumps or curd-like patches on the tongue or elsewhere in the mouth
  • A painful burning sensation
  • Sensitivity to acidic or spicy foods
  • Bad breath
  • Persistent bad taste in the mouth

Thrush is typically diagnosed by medical examination alone, but your doctor or dentist may take a culture from your mouth to confirm the presence of unhealthy levels of fungus. Antifungal lozenges, tablets, creams, or mouthwashes are the treatments of choice, and thrush usually goes away with a few weeks of treatment..

How To Prevent Thrush (And Keep It From Returning)

Building a prevention plan for thrush depends upon your overall health and any special conditions you may have.

  • Nursing mothers should thoroughly clean and dry all parts of breast pumps, bottle nipples, and other accessories before reuse.
  • Diabetics can lower their risk of thrush by keeping blood sugar levels in the optimal range.
  • Persons with HIV and other immune-compromising conditions should stay current on dental appointments and complete the full course of antifungal treatment for oral thrush.
  • Denture wearers should keep their dentures cleaned properly and talk to their dentist about having their dentures relined if they are not fitting properly.

Individuals in good general health can avoid thrush by brushing and flossing daily, changing toothbrushes on a regular basis, and having other types of yeast infections treated promptly.

“Thrush can have a serious impact on your mouth as well as the rest of your body, so it is important to have it diagnosed and treated as soon as possible,” says Dr. Melanie Bauer, a dentist in practice at Dr. Carol Ford & Associates in central Phoenix.

 

 

 

 

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