There is always an amount of fungus in any healthy person’s mouth, skin and digestive tract that helps the body fight against other fungi. Some fungi cause infections when your immune system is low. Candida albicans is one of them. Candida in the throat and mouth (oral thrush) is a temporary fungal infection that affects both babies and adults.
What is Oral Thrush?
When a yeast fungus called Candida albicans infects the membranes that line the mouth and throat, it is known as Oral thrush. Oral thrush is a temporary infection which is especially common in babies. When Candida infects the mouth and throat of adults it is known as candidiasis or moniliasis.
How does the Candida fungus cause an infection?
Many people have Candida already present in their mouths. This Candida does not cause any problems and many people do not even know that they have it. Candida is also prevalent in people who have dentures (false teeth).
When a person’s immune system is low, the Candida fungi can multiply easily, invading the mouth and causing a fungal infection in both the mouth and throat.
Other conditions such as diabetes, certain antibiotics, old age, poor nutrition and even alcohol and drug abuse can benefit Candida by allowing it to multiply itself.
Who is more likely to develop a Candida Infection?
- People who use dentures
- HIV suffers
- Immune deficiency suffers
- The use of antibiotics and chemotherapy treatment may predispose one to Candida
- New born babies often have Candida which clears up after birth
- People with Diabetes mellitus
- A poor diet may lead to Candida
- Certain oral contraceptive
- Hormone replacement therapies
- Increased stress levels can increase Candida growth
How will I know if I have a Candida infection?
Some of the major symptoms of a Candida infection in the mouth and throat include:
- Yellow or white spots in the mouth
- Mouth sores in some cases
- Redness and swelling
- Loss of appetite
- Neck and shoulder tension
- Post nasal drip (mucus dripping to back of throat which can be brown)
- Sore throat
- White and yellow coating on the tongue
- Blisters on the tongue, in the mouth and in the throat
- Irritability, especially in babies
- Dry mouth
- Cracking lips
- Difficulty swallowing
Symptoms vary from person to person along with the severity and duration of their condition.
How is oral thrush treated?
Some home remedies include:
- Apply some crushed garlic or fresh yogurt onto the sores, eating garlic and fresh fruit is also good for thrush.
- Eat healthy foods to boost the immune system
- Eat foods that contain complex carbohydrates, are high in proteins and low in sugar.
- Brushing your mouth with a soft tooth brush and gargling with mouth wash is also helpful. Good oral hygiene is the best treatment for oral thrush.
Avoid the following foods:
- Sugary foods
- Products that contain Yeast such as bread, rolls, doughnuts, etc…
- Dairy and dairy products
- Caffeine (tea, coffee)
- Nicotine products (cigarettes, cigars, tobacco)
Some treatments you can buy at a drug store, chemist or health store:
- Gentian violet (This solution may cause nausea. It is important that you do not swallow gentian violet)
You can also ask for more throat and mouth Candida treatments at a health store near you.
Doctors may prescribe anti-fungal medications to treat a fungal infection in the mouth.
Other resulting symptoms such as post nasal drip, mouth sores and headaches may also be treated with the appropriate medication.
NB: Always consult your doctor before taking any health store remedies or home remedies. Use the prescribed medication exactly as your doctor suggests.
Candida in the mouth and throat is an oral fungal infection. Symptoms of this infection can affect the person physically and emotionally. This infection is usually temporary and is treated with home remedies or by a doctor.