fungal infection mouth thrush oral brooklin whitby

Learn About Fungal Infections of the Mouth

December 12, 2022

A fungal infection in the mouth is called thrush due to yeast build-up in the mouth and throat. The fungus that causes thrush is called “candida,” and the medical terminology for oral thrush is called “oropharyngeal candidiasis.” Kids, adults, and seniors may all experience thrush, but certain risk factors exist. Although annoying, oral thrush is a treatable condition that will typically resolve quickly with antifungal treatment. 

The Appearance of Oral Thrush 

It will appear inside your mouth as a cottage cheese-like substance that may coat your tongue, cheeks, gums, palate and throat. The condition can also occur as raised red spots and become sore and uncomfortable. Thrush may reduce the ability to taste and give a cottony feel to the mouth. Difficulty swallowing may also be a symptom. 

Who is Susceptible to Oral Thrush? 

Esophageal thrush is one of the most common conditions in patients with HIV/AIDS due to a weakened immune system. The most common population at risk for oral thrush are infants and toddlers, adults and seniors with weakened immune systems. In people with adequate immune systems, thrush isn’t thought to be very contagious. It typically won’t spread through contact or kissing. 

Thrush Concerns During Breastfeeding 

As mentioned above, babies and toddlers are more susceptible to oral thrush. Therefore it may be of concern to nursing mothers. During breastfeeding, fungus from the baby’s mouth may be transferred over to the nipple and cause thrush for the mother, and vice versa. If both baby and mother have thrush, it is essential to have it treated simultaneously to prevent spreading the infection back and forth. 

Causes of Thrush

We all have a regular amount of candida in our mouths at any given time, which is kept on track by other oral bacteria. When this balance gets thrown off, candida is left to overgrow, which leads to thrush. Certain medications that may cause fungus to overgrow are birth control, corticosteroids and antibiotics. In addition, lower immune function can also allow the fungus to overgrow, so patients with uncontrolled diabetes, HIV/AIDS, cancer, pregnancy and dry mouth will also be more at risk of thrush. Patients that use dentures and aren’t correctly cleaning or removing them at night will also be at a higher risk for thrush. 

Treatment of Thrush 

Thrush is treated easily in toddlers and with a bit more difficulty in adults due to underlying health conditions. A course of antifungal medication taken over 10-14 days is the best course of treatment. It is also essential to address the underlying cause of the thrush. 

If you have questions about oral thrush, please get in touch with us today to schedule an appointment.

Call Now Book Now
Click to listen highlighted text!