Thrush - What is it and How to Prevent It


Thrush occurs when Candida albicans (a yeast-like fungus) grows uncontrollably in the mouth. Normal beneficial bacteria keep the fungus in check. Certain illnesses, stress, or medications can disrupt this balance, causing the fungus to grow out of hand.

Untreated fungi can spread to different parts of the body. This can cause a more severe condition called systemic Candidiasis in which the fungus affects the liver or lungs. Oral thrush is characterized by white lesions that are slightly raised and have a creamy color. They can appear on the tongue, the inside of the cheeks, the roof and the gums. You might also experience a loss in taste or feel like food is stuck in your throat. You may see your child swallowing excessive saliva or having difficulty eating or drinking if they have thrush.

Your healthcare provider may examine the affected area and scrape off a small amount with a tongue pressor. The sample will then be sent to a laboratory for testing. You may be asked about your past and general health, and a physical examination might be performed to look for any other problems. People with a weakened immune system, like those with cancer or HIV/AIDS are more susceptible to thrush. Some people are more susceptible to thrush if they have diabetes, dentures or long-term antibiotics.

It can be transmitted from one person to another through kissing or close contact, but is not usually a sexually transmissible disease. The disease can be transmitted from mother to baby when breastfeeding.

Use over-the-counter antifungal medications and good oral hygiene to prevent thrush. You can use nystatin as well as fluconazole, itraconazole and other antifungal medicines. Probiotics can help you produce healthy bacteria to fight thrush.

Use a toothbrush with a soft bristle and replace it frequently. To remove plaque and maintain a healthy mouth, floss and rinse your mouth with antiseptic mouthwash. Avoid sugary foods, which encourage the growth of fungus. Make sure your dentures fit properly and are kept clean. Smoking and alcohol consumption can cause thrush. After each use, wash and disinfect the inhalers you use for asthma or chronic obstruction of the pulmonary system.

If you would like to speak with a doctor who is an expert in the field or has Australian training, please contact us. Book an online Telehealth consultation. We are always here for you, 24/7. Contact info@clinicall.com.au