Oral Thrush Symptoms And Early Stages
Oral thrush is a fungal infection, which appears as white/patchy areas around the tongue, throat, or roof of the mouth. Oral thrush is usually seen on the tongue, as its colour is very apparent against a pink tongue. If the lesions are touched, then it can potentially lead to bleeding and discomfort. It can be referred to as a yeast infection, and most oral thrush cases are caused by the yeast ‘Candida.’ In a normal mouth there is a healthy balance of bacteria, and it helps fight off infection. This involves a good balance of ‘Candida,’ however, if it becomes overgrown then it can lead to oral thrush.
Oral thrush can potentially be caused due to medication, this includes steroid inhalers. This is because steroids can inhibit the inflammatory response of the mouth which eradicates bacteria; thus ‘Candida’ can thrive. Another potential cause of oral thrush is a weakened immune system, thus any medical conditions which weaken the immune system are potential triggers. This includes those with cancer undergoing chemotherapy/radiation therapy, or those with HIV/AIDS. If you have diabetes and are failing to keep it under control, then you are also at elevated risk due to the weakened immune system. You must also consider that if you are pregnant, the infection may potentially transmit to your child.
Symptoms and initial stages
Most oral thrush symptoms are quite easy to spot, especially by healthcare providers. The most common symptoms are white patchy areas either on the throat, roof of the mouth or tongue. There may also be white/yellow patchy bums either on the lips, cheeks, tongue, gums, or tonsils. Some bleeding may be apparent if a bump has been accidentally scratched.
Oral thrush can come about in both mild and serious forms, based on the individual’s specific situation and environment. Some key preliminary stages/symptoms of oral thrush have been detailed below, and they will likely happen before the white lesions are visible. However, it should be noted that some individuals may not suffer any early stages/symptoms before lesions begin appearing.
- Issues when swallowing.
- Lack of taste.
- Redness around the mouth area.
- Bad taste in the mouth.
- Corners of the mouth appear dry/cracked.
- Discomfort within the mouth.
- Cotton-like sensation within the mouth.
Oral thrush remedies
If you happen to have a mild case of oral thrush, then it can be possible to treat it at home. Some potential remedies for mild oral thrush have been detailed below.
- Ensure dentures are kept clean and they are properly fitted.
- Take medication, such as acidophilus pills, as these can help restore a healthy balance of germs within the mouth.
- Try to avoid using any harsh mouthwashes, as they can kill healthy germs.
- Rinse mouth with equal parts hydrogen peroxide 3% and water.
- Use the natural remedy gentian violet, which can kill bacteria and fungi.
- Try and rinse your mouth with a warm saltwater solution.
- Ensure you brush your teeth with a soft bristled brush.
While some mild cases of oral thrush can be treated at home, it is best to see a medical professional if you have a more serious case or your symptoms do not subside. This is because not all cases of oral thrush can be healed with home remedies alone, and if oral thrush is not dealt with swiftly, it can cause issues eventually. A medical professional will be able to prescribe the proper treatment and, in most cases, will deal with infection within 1-2 weeks.
Our dental practice recommends that patients attend regular check-ups as this can enable our dentists to identify any potential problems at an early stage. Keeping on top of your oral health can help to prevent problems from escalating, which means that you can not only save time and money, but you could also save yourself from unnecessary pain.