A common constituent of the digestive and the vaginal tract is a yeast, known as Candida. Candida is referred to as a large group of yeast-like fungi and a particular organism in this group causes candidiasis. This organism is mainly responsible for causing oral yeast infection in humans. Apart from commonly affecting babies and children, the infection may also be prevalent among adults with diabetes or metabolic disturbances, drug users, denture users, people undergoing antibiotic treatment or chemotherapy, and people with weak immune systems or poor nutrition. Due to the infection, white curd-like patches with red borders may develop on the tongue. It may also affect the other mucous membranes of the mouth.
Oral yeast infection is also known as oral thrush and sometimes, it can also infect the gums, tongue, palate and even the throat and tonsils. Most probable cause is associated with lower white blood cell count, low IgA count (one of the most common of the five major classes of immunoglobulin) and IgA deficiency in the body. Other conditions that may also cause oral yeast infection are diabetes, cancer, and HIV/AIDS.
Treatment Options for Oral Yeast Infection
The treatment usually depends on the overall health of the affected person, age, and the causal pathogen of the infection. Usually, infants are given mild antiphonals. People who are otherwise healthy, can manage the infection by eating unsweetened yogurt and acidophilus (capsules or liquid). Individuals with compromised immune system may require prescription-strength antifungals. Apart from medications, here are some self-care measures that can be followed at home to speed up the recovery.
It is important to maintain proper dental health and hygiene. Teeth should be brushed at least 3 times a day, once after every meal and flossed once a day.
Use of mouthwashes and mouth sprays should be refrained from, as such products tend to imbalance the function of microorganisms in the mouth. Having diabetes or wearing dentures, require regular follow ups with a doctor, as in such cases, there is a higher possibility of oral yeast infection.
Include more of yeast free foods and refrain from foods such as bread, beer, sweet products, wine, and others which favor the growth of Candida. In fact, a reduced level of consumption of such products also helps in preventing the development of the infection in the first place.
People who are in the habit of smoking or chewing tobacco are the most vulnerable ones to oral yeast infection. So, it will be a wise and smart decision on their part to shun such habits and reduce the frequency of oral infection outbreaks.
Your doctor may suggest a few changes to be inculcated in your daily diet. Increasing intake of plain yogurt helps reduce the levels of yeast growth in the body. As already mentioned, reducing sugar intake also proves beneficial in treating and managing the symptoms of oral thrush. If sugar intake is low, then the level of glucose in the bloodstream will also be low and so will the growth of yeast.
It is important to note, that those suffering from pre-diabetes or diabetes, are always at a risk of contracting oral yeast infection. So they have to be extra careful about their food choices and put an extra effort in maintaining their normal blood sugar levels by following sugar free and yeast free diets
Other products that may help treat the infection include Candidate (a herbal product), cinnamon oil, oregano oil and coconut oil. Administration of such products on a regular basis always proves beneficial in reducing the symptoms of the condition.
It is equally important to be aware of the symptoms and signs of oral yeast infection. The common symptoms are white, yellow or cream-colored, raised spots in the mouth. The affected person may not experience any sort of pain in areas affected with these spots, however, if scraped, they may easily bleed and leave small wounds behind.