How is thrush (oral candidiasis) treated?

If it's severe, oral thrush, a yeast infection that causes velvety white patches in the mouth, is treated with prescription anti-fungal drugs. In most cases however, thrush, also called candidiasis, will go away if you eat plain yogurt or take acidophilus capsules (probiotics) to fight the yeast. Rinsing your mouth several times a day with 3% hydrogen peroxide diluted with water is also  an effective oral thrush treatment.

While Candida albicans, the cause of oral thrush can be treated with anti-fungal drugs, an increasing group of patients have the same symptom, but either different yeast or even bacteria that are not susceptible to the medication. In addition, our published research has shown that devices belonging to oral thrush patients (e.g., toothbrushes, dentures, mouth-guards, band instruments, and baby pacifiers) are contaminated with the same causative microbes and act as reservoirs for re-infections. For long-term maintenance, changing these devices at the beginning of the illness and when symptoms are gone is very important. Dr. G.

How oral thrush is treated depends upon the cause of it. Most often it occurs in people with weak immune systems -- the very young, elderly or those debilitated by disease, such as diabetes or leukemia. 

In most cases this will go away on its own within a week, but if it lasts longer see your dentist for treatment. If the cause is dry mouth, saliva substitutes can help in treating and preventing the problem. 

Practicing good oral hygiene habits is the best treatment and prevention of oral thrush.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.