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Oral Thrush Causes

Oral Thrush Causes

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Published by Michael Eka Putra
Oral Thrush Causes
Oral Thrush Causes

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Published by: Michael Eka Putra on Aug 19, 2013
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Oral Thrush Causes, Symptoms andTreatment
Authored By: Allison DiMatteo  Reviewed By: Mahnaz Fatahzadeh, DMD  Oral thrush
or oral pseudomembranous candidiasis
is a fungal infection of the mouthcommon among denture wearers, infants and people with weakened immune systems. Themost common human fungal infection, oral thrush presents as slightly raised removable plaques (resembling cottage cheese) on the tongue or inner cheek. Thrush can also affect theroof of the mouth, gums, tonsils or back of the throat.There are three other forms of oral candidiasis infections:
Erythematous candidiasis appears as red patches on the roof of the mouth and tongue.
Hyperplastic (chronic) candidiasis resembles the more common type, but cannot bescraped off.
Angular cheilitis looks like red sores that develop in the corners of the mouth.
Causes of Oral Thrush
Teeth Grinding How much is bruxing costing you?Oral thrush is caused primarily when there is an overgrowth of Candida albicans, a yeastnormally present in the mouth in small quantities and kept in balance by helpful bacteria inthe body. Less frequently, oral thrush may also be caused by an overgrowth/infection of theCandida glabrata or Candida tropicalis yeasts, which also are present in the mouth.Dry mouth, high blood and salivary sugar levels (diabetes), and prolonged use of certainantibiotics or corticosteroid therapy (asthma inhalers) can upset the body's natural balance of friendly bacteria that would otherwise fight off a yeast infection. This allows overgrowth of Candida and leads to oral thrush.
Oral Thrush Symptoms
There are several symptoms associated with the development of the fungal infection. Inaddition to having a white, yellow or cream-colored curd-like appearance, oral thrush cancause a burning sensation in the mouth, soreness and/or sensitivity to acidic and spicy foods,an unpleasant taste in the mouth and  bad breath (halitosis). Scraping the white lesions from the soft tissues (mucosa) of the mouth may cause bleeding and a painful sensation, revealingred and inflamed surfaces underneath.Candidal infections can lead to a diaper rash in infants that does not heal with the use of ointments (yeast passes through the baby's stool), in addition to a rash in the infant's mouth.
Mothers and their infected infants can pass oral thrush back and forth. For a breastfeedingmother, Candidal infection could result in burning, painful nipples. Candidal infections canalso cause vaginal yeast infections in women.Candidiasis is not limited to the mouth and, if left untreated, can spread to other parts of the body (throat, vagina, skin). Although rare, oral thrush can spread to other organs of the body, but this is usually limited to immunocompromised individuals.Your dentist can diagnose oral thrush by examining your mouth and brushing the lesionsaway. If necessary, microscopic testing can be used for confirmation.
Oral Thrush Considerations and Risk Factors
A number of factors can put an individual at higher risk for an oral thrush or candidiasisinfection. Women who are pregnant, women taking birth control pills and those whoexperience persistent dry mouth (caused by systemic conditions or medications such as antidepressants) are more likely to develop a candidal infection. Other at-risk individualsinclude:
Newborns/Nursing Mothers:
Babies and nursing mothers must both be properly treated to prevent passing the Candidal infection back and forth. Dentists or healthcare providers can prescribe mild antifungal medications to treat oral infections, and an antifungal cream may beneeded for treating the breasts.
Individuals with diabetes have a reduced resistance to infection, so they mayexperience an increased incidence of oral thrush. To prevent oral infections, dentists mayrecommend medicated mouth rinses or more frequent dental hygiene appointments.
People with Asthma/Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD):
The use of inhaled corticosteroids has been shown to increase an individual's risk for oral thrush. Thisrisk can be reduced by using a spacer and rinsing the mouth after using the inhaler.
Denture Wearers:
A common contributor to oral thrush is denture stomatisis, which occurswhen the gums and soft tissue of the mouth are irritated and inflamed from wearing a denturethat doesn't fit well or hasn't been properly cleaned on a regular basis. This condition createsan environment that is ideal for Candida growth.
The use of tobacco has been identified as a contributing factor in oral thrushinfection.
Immune deficiencies (HIV, Chemotherapy/Cancer Patients):
Deficiencies in the immunesystem that result from chemotherapy, radiation treatments or HIV infection can dramaticallychange the balance of the protective mechanisms in the body that would otherwise fight off an oral thrush infection. An individual's ability to fight infection determines the severity of oral thrush and the fungal infection overall. Individuals with HIV are prone to severe formsof oral thrush in their mouth or esophagus, as well as spread of the infection to the intestines.Prolonged antifungal treatment may be necessary for individuals with severe infectionsand/or those who are immunocompromised.
Oral Thrush Treatments
Oral thrush treatment starts with the management of the conditions that caused developmentof the fungal infection. For example, if you have developed oral thrush as a result of using a particular antibiotic, you should speak with your physician immediately about getting analternative medication.If you wear  dentures,they should be removed from the mouth at bedtime and thoroughly cleaned. An antimicrobial mouth rinse may also be recommended by your dentist for use as adenture disinfecting agent.  If you are diabetic, you must carefully monitor and control your blood glucose levels. Thosewho are immunocompromised may need oral or IV antifungal medications to control theCandidal infection on an ongoing basis.Practicing good oral hygiene is also important, as well as limiting the amount of sugary and yeast-containing foods that you eat.Treatment of oral thrush depends on the severity of the condition. Mild cases may bemanaged without medications. Drinking acidic liquids such as orange juice and eating yogurtcan help to rebalance the natural bacteria that keep the Candida yeast in check.Your dentist will develop a treatment plan for you based on your specific condition and thenature of your oral thrush infection. Medications used in the treatment of oral thrush includeantifungal mouth rinses, lozenges, creams and oral tablets. In some cases, a combination of oral tablets and lozenges are used to treat severe oral thrush infections. As many as 14 days of treatment with antifungal medications may be necessary to treat severe oral thrush infections.In some instances, generic brands of the medications are available, which will help to lessenthe cost of any treatment regimen prescribed for you by your dentist. Dental insurance willcover the cost of prescription medications to treat oral thrush, and some medications areavailable over-the-counter.Topical medications used to treat oral thrush include nystatin (creams, ointments, powder andoral solution) or clotrimazole lozenges. Nystatin powder or ointments may be applied to theaffected mucosa and/or inside the thoroughly cleaned dentures and worn. Nystatin solution isused to rinse the mouth. It is safe to swallow for treatment of candidiasis affecting the throat.Oral tablets of fluconazole may also be used to treat oral thrush (with an estimated wholesale price of $104.00 for treatment). Other antifungal medications are also available and may be prescribed by your dentist depending upon your condition and diagnosis.

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