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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Thrush Infection

Thrush infection, or oral thrush, is an infection caused by the candida fungus, yeast. It is a surface infection that can affect the corners of the mouth, the insides of the cheeks, the tongue, palate and throat. It occurs most often in babies and toddlers, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems. People who suffer from thrush often have moist, pale pink spots on their lips, known as angular cheilitis, which is an indication of a candida infection.



Causes of Thrush


  • Certain illnesses or stress
  • Side effect of antibiotics or chemotherapy
  • People with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • People with diabetes
  • People who wear dentures
  • Dry mouth
  • Pregnancy
  • People with poor nutrition or immune deficiency


Symptoms of Thrush


  • A sore mouth and tongue and/or difficulty swallowing.
  • A burning feeling in the mouth and throat (at the start of a thrush infection).
  • White patches that adhere to the mouth and tongue. The tissue around the patches may be red, raw, and painful.
  • A bad taste in the mouth or difficulty tasting foods.
  • Sore, red nipples in a breast-feeding mother.
  • Fever, if the infection spreads beyond the esophagus.
  • Diaper rash. Diaper rash may develop because the fungus that causes thrush will be in the baby's stool.


Thrush Treatment


Firstly, the condition that caused the thrush must be brought under control:

  • Investing in new and better fitting dentures.
  • For AIDs patients it is not possible to control immune deficiency but oral treatment using anti-fungal drugs can help to control thrush infection.
  • Keep the affected area clean by washing with plain water. Avoid using soaps, shower and bath gels and deodorants.
  • Wear natural fibres and keep affected areas as cool, clean and dry as possible.
  • Drink cranberry juice.
  • Avoid stressful situations as stress is often a trigger for thrush.
  • Remove, treat or avoid possible causes of thrush (where sensible): oral contraceptives, broad spectrum antibiotics, iron deficiency; anaemia, diabetes, steroid therapy, high sugar diet, alcohol.
  • Avoid dairy foods, food and drink containing yeast, dried fruit, mushrooms, monosodium glutamate (MSG), pickles, smoked meat and fish. These have all been shown to be possible triggers for thrush.



Thrush Prevention


  • Follow good oral hygiene practices. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day.
  • Avoid mouthwashes or sprays.
  • Get treatment for conditions that increase your risk for thrush, such as diabetes, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), or cancer.
  • Limit your carb and sugar intake.
  • Avoid smoking.


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