An oral yeast infection is often called a thrush or an oral candida infection. It is a higher than normal proliferation of candida fungus in the mouth, which may be caused by a variety of factors. In order to treat an oral yeast infection, people must first know what one looks like. It often has yellow, grey or white film on the tongue, roof of the mouth and/or tonsils that isn’t easily removed. It can also present as white patches in any part of the mouth.
Since people aren’t always certain they have an oral candida infection, they should see a doctor to get a confirmed diagnosis. Once diagnosis is made, there might be several ways to focus on treatment, and more than one person could require treatment, given some circumstances. For the average child or adult, the treatment may be to use one of a variety of antifungal agents that are placed topically in the mouth to directly attack the extra fungus.
Sometimes an oral yeast infection is very resistant, and this could be the case if people have weakened immune systems. Those with HIV, other autoimmune disorders, or who are undergoing chemotherapy may be prone to thrush and it may be more difficult to treat. While topical antifungal agents are the preferred treatment for simple cases, these more complex cases may require stronger medications in pill form. These systemically attack candida fungus and may more successfully resolve resistant infections.
An oral yeast infection can be contagious, and babies who develop thrush may quite innocently and unwittingly pass the condition to the nursing mother. Itching and redness on the nipples, particularly if a baby has thrush, may need to be treated with a topical antifungal agent too. Similarly, any mouth to body contact could transfer a yeast infection. If a person with thrush has recently engaged in oral sex, both partners might need treatment to clear up candida.
There are many natural approaches to treating an oral yeast infection. One of the time-honored ones suggested is to eat yogurt, which contains live active cultures that may help fight yeasts. Other natural approaches include gargling with garlic solutions or apple cider vinegar.
From a medical standpoint, the trouble with these suggestions is that when they do not work, there is some risk of complications from an oral yeast infection. Sometimes candida can get into the esophagus where it might cause swallowing difficulties. If people want to try these methods and they find that they feel worse, have a fever, or have trouble swallowing, they should really seek medical attention before continuing to self-treat.