Candida albicans is a fungus (yeast) present in different areas of the body such as the mouth, stomach, digestive tract, skin, and even the vaginal area. When it is balanced and at an adequate level it does not present any inconvenience, however, if that balance is broken and this fungus begins to multiply, then you will be facing an infection known as candidiasis.
When this condition occurs inside your oral cavity, the condition is known as an oral yeast infection or oral thrush, producing certain injuries, discomforts, and symptoms that it is important to attend to before the condition worsens.(1)
How Long Will It Take To Recover From Oral Thrush?
Although a severe condition, oral thrush is very easy to diagnose and treat, especially if it is mild. However, it is important to act quickly, because if this fungus progresses without treatment it can lead to much more severe and important infections such as meningitis, it can affect our eyes, heart, esophagus or joints and trigger a more complex picture of infections. The usual treatment for this condition is:
In mild cases, it is enough to increase the intake of probiotic foods such as yogurt or pickles such as olives. These will help restore the bacterial flora and thereby bring the Candida albicans to their proper levels.
Acidophilus capsules have the same effect and are sold over the counter in pharmacies. In more severe cases, specific antifungal products such as mouthwashes, tablets, pills, or syrups may be prescribed.(5)
How Long Does The Symptoms Last?
Once thrush treatment starts, symptoms usually disappear within the next two weeks. In a few instances, thrush may last longer even after comprehensive treatment (depending on the cause and state of your health). Thrush can recur if it is not handled properly from the beginning.
Why Does Oral Thrush Appear?
As previously explained, the Candida albicans lives in certain areas of the body, coexisting in harmony thanks to the function of other microbes and also to the ability of the immune system to keep its proliferation at bay.
However, it is enough for this delicate balance to be broken for this fungus to proliferate. When the immune system is weakened due to disease or if the bacteria that live inside your mouths begin to die rapidly, then the perfect environment will be created to give rise to this fungal growth.
Symptoms Of Oral Thrush
The symptoms of this condition are:
- Whitish lesions in your mouth and tongue that have a velvety appearance
- Presence of blood when handling or scraping the lesions and also during brushing
- Pain and discomfort when swallowing
- A feeling of dry mouth(2)
Causes Of Oral Thrush
Oral thrush may appear due to several reasons such as:
- Frequent use of steroids, including products for asthma or various lung conditions
- Having diabetes or high blood sugar levels. In these cases, part of the sugar remains in the saliva, working as a stimulant that increases the growth of the candida
- Weakened immune system due to HIV infection, cancer medications, and chemotherapy
- Having taken antibiotics for a long period
- Having a dental prosthesis that is not well adjusted
- This condition is also common in babies and the elderly, who have a more fragile immune system.(3)
Diagnosis Of Oral Thrush
Oral thrush is very easy to detect by any dentist since it has characteristic lesions that denote its presence.(4)
- Rahmani F, Rezaei N. Refractory Oral Thrush. Pediatric Immunology: Springer; 2019:383-385.
- Taylor M, Raja A. Oral Candidiasis (Thrush). StatPearls [Internet]: StatPearls Publishing; 2019.
- Mark AM. Can diabetes affect my oral health? The Journal of the American Dental Association. 2018;149(4):328.
- Vijay S, Srivastava S. Oral Hairy Leukoplakia-A Comprehensive Review. International Journal Of Drug Research And Dental Science. 2019;1(2):1-12.
- Seboe P, Haller DM, Sommer JM, Excoffier S, Gaboreau Y, Maisonneuve H. General practitioners’ perspectives on the use of nonpharmacological home remedies in two regions in Switzerland and France. Swiss medical weekly. 2018;148:w14676.
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