Thrush is a condition in the mouth caused by a bacterial imbalance that results in an overgrowth of yeast. Most of the time thrush infections are seen in infants or elderly dental patients, but they may also occur in people that are undergoing chemotherapy treatment, on prescription medication, or have immune deficiencies.
The appearance of thrush is a white, velvety appearance in the mouth that may wipe off and leave a raw area underneath. In elderly patients it is also seen as cracks or sores in the corners of the mouth. Most of the time thrush is not uncomfortable, but if it is severe it may cause some sensitivity.
Poor oral hygiene or proper cleansing of dentures may allow bacteria to grow in the mouth where it shouldn’t. For infants you can use a warm washcloth to gently clean their gums, cheeks and tongue after meals. Elderly patients should remove their dentures every night for cleansing and a chance for the underlying tissues to breath. Steroids or antibiotics may also contribute to thrush, so when possible avoid long-term use of these medications. If your steroid is related to asthma management, rinse your mouth thoroughly after taking your medication.
If thrush is severe enough it may need antifungal medication or prescription mouthwash to eliminate the bacterial overgrowth. Most of the time though it is possible to clear up the yeast infection at home by increasing your intake of yogurt, acidophilus, avoiding tobacco products and eliminating sugar from your diet. Diabetics also need to control their blood sugar levels, as yeast thrives on sugar. It may also help to replace your toothbrush in order to prevent the spread of bacteria.
Posted on behalf of Grateful Dental
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