Oral thrush or oral candidiasis is a condition characterized by the appearance of white patches on the tongue. This occurs as a result of the accumulation of a fungus called Candida Albican over the lining of the mouth.
This organism is naturally present in your mouth, however, it becomes a problem when the microorganism starts to proliferate beyond a certain point. This leads to the development of several symptoms that indicate oral thrush.
The Symptoms of Oral Thrush
One of the first symptoms you’ll notice is the appearance of white patches or lesions, which show themselves as a creamy texture. They can form on the tongue or even the inner cheek. Oral thrush can spread to the gums, tonsils, the roof of the mouth, and even the back of your throat.
Oral thrush can affect most people. It is mostly diagnosed in older adults and infants due to their reduced immunity. Even people with suppressed immune systems or pre-existing medical disorders tend to develop oral thrush.
Certain medications may also increase susceptibility to the conditions.
Oral thrush is easy to treat and cure for healthy individuals. However, it can be a challenge for those suffering from a weaker immune system.
The initial symptoms of oral thrush are hardly noticeable. Typically, you should expect to see white lesions on the tongue, roof of the mouth, inner cheeks, gums, and tonsils. The lesions tend to be raised and possess a cottage-cheese like appearance.
There may be some redness, soreness or burning, which may lead to difficulties in swallowing food and drinks. If the lesions are scraped or rubbed, they will begin to bleed.
A loss of taste and a cottony feeling in the mouth can also indicate oral thrush.
Causes of Oral Thrush
The human body has an immune system that keeps harmful organisms, such as fungi, viruses, and bacteria. This is done whilst a balance is struck between good and bad microbes. However, the immune system can end up losing its ability to protect the body. This causes the harmful microorganisms to grow beyond control. This is one of the ways in which oral thrush spreads.
The following conditions can increase your risk of developing oral thrush:
Weak immune System – Oral thrush is common in the elderly, infants, and people with suppressed immunity. Immune systems usually become suppressed by prolonged usage of certain types of medications and certain medical conditions.
Pre-existing Infections: Certain conditions like yeast infections can cause oral thrush to develop due to the imbalance of bacteria in your mouth.
Diabetes: Diabetes that isn’t treated properly has been associated with the spread of oral thrush. The saliva in diabetics can facilitate the uncontrolled growth of candida and lead to the development of oral thrush.
Medications – Certain medications like antibiotics, inhaled corticosteroids, and prednisone can disturb the balance of microbes in your body and increase the chances of contracting oral thrush.
Fortunately, oral thrush isn’t life threatening, and can easily be treated with the help of a skilled doctor.
Contact Our Office
If you’re interested in learning more about how oral thrush, it’s causes, and how to treat it, contact Dermatology Cavallo & Horlick to schedule your consultation today!