Oral thrush occurs when a yeast called candida builds up in the mouth. This fungus is present in a lot of people's mouths and will not normally cause any problems. However, if the balance of bacteria in your mouth changes, candida can multiply in your mouth and take over. When this occurs, the condition is typically known as oral thrush. Below is a guide to the risk factors, the symptoms of the condition, the treatments which are available for people suffering from oral thrush and the steps you can take to prevent oral thrush.
The Risk Factors
Some members of the general population are at increased risk of developing oral thrush. Those at risk include:
- People taking antibiotics, which can cause bacterial levels in the mouth to become unbalanced.
- People living with illnesses such as diabetes, HIV or cancer, which can weaken the immune system.
- People who have a poor diet and are suffering from a nutrient deficiency and a weakened immune system
- People who smoke tobacco or other illegal drugs, which can cause changes to oral bacteria
The symptoms of oral thrush include:
- White patches on your tongue or your gums
- Oral pain
- Cracked or red patches
The Treatment Options
A doctor, pharmacist or dentist will easily diagnose a case of thrush. The first line of treatment of is normally over-the-counter creams which can be applied directly onto the affected area. However, if this treatment is not effective, you may need your dentist or doctor to prescribe stronger medications to combat the problem. Your dentist or doctor may also recommend that you improve your diet, stop smoking or cease taking a course of antibiotics in order to help to combat the impact of oral thrush.
The Steps You Can Take to Prevent Oral Thrush
Has the old saying goes, 'prevention is better than cure'. To prevent an outbreak of oral thrush, you should do the following:
- Brush your teeth twice a day, as recommended by the Australian Dental Association
- Attend regular dental appointments
- Change your toothbrush when it becomes worn
- Cut back on foods which have a high sugar content
- Ensure that dentures and braces are kept clean
If you suspect that you may be suffering from oral thrush, you should take action straight away. Contact a dental office like The Happy Tooth Kurri Kurri. Your dentist will assess your oral health before offering a suitable treatment.