Oral Thrush

What are the treatment options for oral thrush?

A Answers (3)

  • ADe Vizio, DMD, Dentistry, answered on behalf of Colgate
    Oral thrush can be treated with a homemade mouthwash, or, in more serious cases, a prescription mouthwash or lozenge. Oral thrush is a yeast infection that affects the mucus membrane lining of your mouth and tongue. It is most common in people:
    • who have diabetes or HIV/AIDS
    • who are taking steroid medications, chemotherapy, cancer-suppressing drugs, or high doses of antibiotics (for a long period of time)
    • who are very old or very young, or who are in poor health
    • who have poorly fitting dentures

    In infants, the best approach is to not treat thrush at all, because it usually goes away in a couple of days. If you have any concerns, call your pediatrician. For people with diabetes, controlling blood sugar more effectively can help control thrush outbreaks. Eating yogurt or over-the-counter acidophilus capsules may help clear up thrush, especially if it is caused by antibiotic use. Home treatment includes using a soft toothbrush and rinsing your mouth with a diluted 3% hydrogen peroxide solution several times a day. If the condition persists or is severe, or if it is a result of a weakened immune system, your doctor may prescribe an antifungal mouthwash (nystatin) or lozenges (clotrimazole) to suck on. If these don't work, stronger medications may be prescribed.
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  • If you have dry mouth, high blood sugar levels, or if you smoke or take antibiotics, you are more likely to have fungal infections in your mouth. Thrush is such a fungal infection. It appears to occur more frequently among people with diabetes.

    Thrush causes white or red patches in the mouth that may be sore or may become ulcers. It may attack the tongue and cause a painful, burning sensation. This can make it difficult to swallow and dull your sense of taste. Regular oral hygiene can help keep thrush in check. If necessary, your dentist may prescribe antifungal medications to treat this condition.

  • Antifungal medications are the most common treatment for oral thrush. Mild antifungal treatments can even be given to newborns with the condition. For people with compromised immune systems, however, antifungal medications alone may not be strong enough to combat the condition. In this case, other medications, like amphotercin B, may be used.

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Should I talk to my doctor about my oral thrush symptoms?