Thrush is a fungal infection that can affect anyone but happens mostly to toddlers and young children. The common way to treat it is with antifungal medications over the course of two weeks. It can grow in certain areas of the mouth, throat, and other parts of the body. In the mouth, thrush appears in the form of raised lesions on the tongue and cheeks that are white in color.
Thrush is a common infection that affects many children and adults around the world, but it is not to be taken lightly. Although annoying at times, it is generally a minor issue and can be easily treated with over-the-counter medication. If you have young children at home that you are worried might have contracted thrush, book an appointment with one of our dentists at Beaverton Oral Surgeons, right away. We take great pride in providing the best care to all of our patients and have proudly done so for many years.
What Causes Thrush?
Thrush is caused by the presence of Candida fungus in the mouth. Although there are trace amounts of this fungus present in every person, they are usually kept under check by other microorganisms in the body. However, due to sickness, stress, and other factors our immune system can be compromised which can result in the Candida fungus growing out of control.
Certain kinds of medication have been known to catalyze the growth of this fungus in the mouth too, such as antibiotics, corticosteroids, and birth control pills. Thrush is more likely to develop in patients with uncontrolled diabetes, cancer, parafunctional habits like smoking, and dentures that do not fit well.
Signs and Symptoms of Thrush
In many cases, patients fail to anticipate the onset of Candida infection as it develops quite speedily. A common symptom is the presence of white, raised lesions in the mouth. These can occur on the tongue, inside of cheeks, gums, tonsils, or the back of your throat. Loss of taste, redness or soreness, cottonmouth, pain or difficulty swallowing, and a feeling of something stuck in your throat, are other common signs of thrush.
The lesions can cause pain and bleed if left untreated for a while. In severe cases, the infection can spread to the esophagus, which can be detrimental to the health of a patient. If not treated on time, thrush can also spread to the lungs, liver, and other vital parts of the body.
Your doctor or dentist can tell right away by looking at the symptoms if you are dealing with Candida infection. Lightly scraping the surface of the lesions will expose the tender area underneath that may bleed. At this point, tests will be performed on the soft tissue to confirm the presence of Candida fungus.
Thrush can be avoided by following a few simple preventative measures regularly. Practice good oral hygiene habits at home. Brushing and flossing your teeth daily can seem like simple advice, but it works. Avoid certain kinds of mouth sprays and washes which can disturb the bacterial ecosystem in your mouth. Your dentist will tell you more about the products that are safe to use. Last but not least, if you smoke, then try quitting. Consult with your doctor and ask for tips to help you stop the habit of smoking.
If you are concerned about your oral health or fear a family member may have thrush, book an appointment with one of our dentists at Beaverton Oral Surgeons right away. Our staff has garnered years of experience in treating patients with oral complications of varying severity. If you have any questions for us or would like to book an appointment over the phone, feel free to reach us as (971) 249-8370.