Dentures and Dentist

Dentures and Dentist

Oral Thrush: The Fungi No One Wants to Have

Julian Andrews

Oral thrush is a type of yeast infection caused by a build-up of the fungus candida in the lining of the mouth. More than half of the Australian population will have candida in their mouth and experience no ill effect. But sometimes something will happen to kill off the good bacteria present in the mouth, giving the candida the chance to grow.

People at high risk

As oral thrush is a result of the bacterial balance in the mouth changing, some people are at higher risk of developing oral thrush. These people include:

  • Those who take antibiotics (which can also cause genital thrush) as the ingredients can change the balance of bacteria.
  • Those with certain illnesses including cancer, diabetes and HIV, whose treatments can suppress the immune system allowing the fungus to grow.
  • Wearers of ill-fitting dentures gives the candida the right environment and new nooks in which to grow.
  • Those with a poor diet who will not have enough nutrients to give them a strong immune system.
  • Smokers and those with a drug addiction as the chemicals will alter the bacterial balance in the mouth.
  • Asthmatics whose inhalers will affect the makeup of the mouth.

Symptoms

You may have oral thrush if you experience pain in your mouth, soreness or bleeding in your mouth, and cracks and redness at the corners of your mouth. However, the most common symptom of oral thrush is creamy white patches on the inside of your cheeks, gums and on your tongue.

Treatment

Pharmacists will be able to diagnose your oral thrush. Treatment may not require a visit to your doctor and anti-fungal medicines can be obtained over the counter at your local pharmacy. However, you may wish to visit a doctor if your thrush refuses to go or is particularly severe.

How to prevent oral thrush

Thrush can be painful, so the best thing to do is to try and avoid it.

  • Maintain good oral hygiene by brushing twice a day. This will help your mouth to defend against the candida and promote healthy bacteria.
  • Visit your dentist regularly to keep your mouth healthy.
  • If you wear dentures, ensure they are cleaned properly every night and that your mouth is also kept clean. You may want to rinse your mouth after a meal.
  • Cut back on sugary treats. Bacteria feasts on sugar so any sweet treats will help the candida to grow stronger. Replace such sweets with a yoghurt, which will naturally increase your mouths good bacteria.
  • If you use an inhaler, rinse your mouth out after using it. An alternative to this is to use a spacer with the inhaler, which means more of the medication goes into your lungs rather than sticking in your mouth.  

Oral thrush is easily treated but can be painful. Prevention is the best route to take and remember to speak to local dental clinics such as Elphin Dental if you have any concerns.


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About Me
Dentures and Dentist

Hello, my name is Jack. I am now 79 years old. As you can imagine, my teeth have taken something of a battering over the years. I lost a couple of teeth in a bar fight, four more decayed and one had to be extracted when it became infected. After losing so many teeth, my dentist suggested that I have dentures fitted. I was worried about this but my dentist was really great. He helped explain the procedure and then did an excellent job. I love my new dentures and I wanted to start this blog to offer help to others.

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