We have many microorganisms inside our mouth and body, most of them are totally harmless. The problem is caused when a harmful agent acts on the surface of our mouth causing a fungal infection.
Oral thrush causes irritation inside the mouth, the presence of a creamy mucus on the tongue and taste bud disorders. If these symptoms are not treated, they can lead to complications such as swollen lymph nodes in the neck, swollen gums, bad breath and pain when chewing.
There is no specific age for this pathology, so it can be experienced as a child or during adulthood. Specific care and measures need to be taken to prevent the fungal infection from spreading to other parts of the body.
There is no common cause for oral thrush. These are most common causes that can lead to this pathology:
- Unhealthy diet:; there are certain foods in our daily diet that can onset this disease
- Low salivation: a lack of saliva in the mouth leads to reduced oral flora, leaving it more exposed to possible infections
- Weak immune defences: just like dry mouth, week oral defences involve an increased probability of mouth infections and oral thrush
- Poor oral hygiene
- Long-term use of medication: when medication, especially antibiotics, is used inappropriately, it can lead to dry mouth and thus to the abovementioned consequences
- Hormonal disorders: situations like pregnancy and menopause involve huge hormonal changes that favour this pathology
- Diabetes: the sugar level in saliva is a factor that can cause thrush on the tongue
- Removable dental prostheses
- Infections and treatments for certain illnesses: in the case of infections, the best example is AIDS, and in terms of treatments, chemotherapy to treat cancer is another good example
- Stress: lastly, the emotional and physical imbalance caused by high levels of stress can lead to a weakened immune system that is not able to avoid a mouth infection
- Tobacco use: this bad habit is also harmful to our health because it opens a door to our mouth for bacteria and fungus
The dentist is the medical professional we should see if we detect oral thrush. Oral candidiasis is a fungal infection that occurs in the mouth, and it should be treated within the first three weeks to avoid a rebound effect that could complicate eliminating the discomfort.
Its treatment may vary depending on each patient's personal circumstances. In some cases different types of medication, based on the severity of the infection, will be required. The use of antifungal medication may also be required, which should not be prescribed to pregnant women, patients with liver problems or babies aged 6 months and under.