Oral thrush is an oral disease caused by Candida, a fungus. The development of oral thrush is related to aging, steroid use, cancer, chemotherapy, as well as decreased saliva and poor dentures. When oral thrush develops, the inside of the mouth is covered with a white membrane, and erosion 1- pain appears.
If dentures do not match, redness or bleeding spots may occur on the mucous membrane of the contact area. Treatment of oral thrush mainly involves cleaning the oral cavity, maintaining a hygienic environment, and using antifungal drugs.(1)
How Can I Get Rid Of Oral Thrush Fast?
Treatment of oral thrush depends on its severity. In mild cases, the doctor will wait for the improvement of symptoms by maintaining a clean environment in the oral cavity by gargle and denture washing. In relatively severe cases, treatment with antifungal drugs is performed in addition to the above. Antifungal drugs used in the treatment of oral thrush include types such as gargles and liniments.
Patients with particularly severe symptoms may be considered for oral treatment. If oral thrush is caused by another disease, treatment of that disease is also performed.(5)
Antifungal Drugs: Conventional medicines can be applied topically (e.g. nystatin, 1% gentian violet) or in liquid form (e.g. fluconazole). Nystatin is usually applied four times a day for approximately five to seven days.
When treating infants and young children, using a small gauze or Q-tip to apply it to the affected area is more effective than having the drug orally. Fluconazole is a once-daily drug that is used for 14 days. The primary side effects are minor (5% or less) and usually have an intestinal character (upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea).
Will You Feel Sick With Oral Thrush?
Thrush may cause a decrease in taste perception and a cotton-like feeling in your mouth. In general, antifungals can treat thrush. Sometimes untreated thrush can turn into a more serious infection, especially in people with serious diseases. Rapid thrush treatment can help prevent this. There may be a pain in the breast bone, pain in the upper part of the abdomen, nausea, & vomiting. If candida enters blood, a person may get sick regardless of fever.(5)
There are many types of fungi that cause oral thrush, but a type called Candida albicans is often detected. Candida itself is one of the indigenous microorganisms that widely inhabit the human body, including the oral cavity, and usually does not cause any health problems for humans. However, oral thrush develops when Candida proliferate in the oral cavity because the balance between the indigenous microorganisms cannot be maintained for some reason.
The causes of the disruption of the normal microorganism balance in the oral cavity include reduced immunity due to cancer, diabetes, and AIDS, and the use of immunosuppressants such as steroids.
Other causes include disruption of the normal bacterial flora due to long-term antibiotic use. Oral thrush may be associated with poor hygiene in the oral cavity or dentures and decreased salivary secretion.(2)
Oral Thrush Symptoms
Oral thrush or candidiasis is pseudomembranous and atrophic, and each manifests different symptoms.
Pseudomembrane: In pseudomembranous candidiasis, white moss appears in the oral cavity. White moss can be wiped off with gauze.
Atrophic (Erythematous): In atrophic candidiasis, there is no moss, and there are redness and erosion in the oral cavity. It is often accompanied by burning pain.
When oral thrush becomes chronic, it progresses to hypertrophic candidiasis, which causes changes including difficulty in removing white moss and increasing the thickness of the epithelium.(3)
When Should Someone Seek Medical Attention For A Thrush?
You should seek medical help if you suspect the presence of thrush and when over-the-counter products are useless or if the infection is painful. The health worker should examine all adolescents and adults with thrush.
Oral Thrush Diagnosis
Pseudomembrane oral candidiasis may be diagnosed based on oral conditions, subjective symptoms, and the following background factors:
- Are you on steroids?
- On chemotherapy
However, in the case of atrophic oral thrush, blood tests and culture tests are performed because it is necessary to distinguish it from other diseases such as tongue pain and glossitis.(4)
- Giardino G, Cirillo E, Gallo V, Pignata C. Oral Thrush and Onychomycosis. Pediatric Immunology: Springer; 2019:371-376.
- Dekhuijzen PR, Batsiou M, Bjermer L, et al. Incidence of oral thrush in patients with COPD prescribed inhaled corticosteroids: effect of drug, dose, and device. Respiratory medicine. 2016;120:54-63.
- Taylor M, Raja A. Oral Candidiasis (Thrush). StatPearls [Internet]: StatPearls Publishing; 2019.
- Rahmani F, Rezaei N. Refractory Oral Thrush. Pediatric Immunology: Springer; 2019:383-385.
- Hosny KM, Aldawsari HM, Bahmdan RH, et al. Preparation, Optimization, and Evaluation of Hyaluronic Acid-Based Hydrogel Loaded with Miconazole Self-Nanoemulsion for the Treatment of Oral Thrush. AAPS PharmSciTech. 2019;20(7):297.
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