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Oral thrush or oral candidiasis is a type of Candida infection that affects the mucous membranes of the mouth. In this condition, fungus Candida albicans accumulates on the inner linings of the mouth, and is characterized by creamy or white spots that appear on the tongue, cheeks and other parts of the mouth. In severe cases of oral thrush, the white spots can be sore, painful and bleed lightly when touched and it can spread to the roof of the mouth, gums, tonsils or the back of the throat if left untreated. In most cases, oral thrush can be controlled and treated successfully with the help of home remedies just like home remedies for psoriasis, eczema and ringworm that show effective results.
Oral thrush can affect people of all age groups, but it is more common among children and elderlies because they have weaker immune systems compared to young adults.
Oral Thrush in Babies
Before discussing the causes and symptoms of oral thrush in adults let us take a look at the causes and symptoms of oral thrush in babies and children. We already know that oral thrush is a fungal infection in the mouth that is caused by the yeast fungus called Candida albicans. It is more prevalent among babies and children than adults because their immune systems are not fully developed yet and are less competent to resist the infection. The risk further increases in case of prematurely born babies. Oral thrush in babies and adults is usually harmless and can be effectively treated with medicines.
Signs and Symptoms of Oral Thrush in Babies
- There are a number of symptoms of oral thrush in babies which makes it easily identifiable.
- A white coating on the baby’s tongue
- White patches in the cheeks and other parts of the mouth
- The coating cannot b rubbed off easily
- Reluctance to feed
- Sudden surge in nappy rash
Steps to Prevent Oral Thrush in Babies
There are some protective measures that can be taken to protect your baby from getting oral thrush.
- Properly clean and sterilize toys, feeding bottles and equipment and anything that the baby can put in the mouth.
- Wash the baby’s clothes at 60 degrees C temperature to kill all funguses.
- If you are a breastfeeding mother, then wash your nipples with water and dry them entirely between feeds.
Causes of Oral Thrush in Adults
Low numbers of Candida fungus are naturally found in the digestive system and mouth of most people, but they can multiply and create problems due to several reasons.
- Taking certain high dose antibiotics over prolonged period of time
- Inhaling corticosteroid medication for asthma treatment
- Poor oral hygiene
- Dry mouth because of a medical condition
- Excessive smoking
- A person undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy for cancer treatment
- Heath conditions such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, HIV
- Iron deficiency or vitamin B12 deficiency
Signs and Symptoms of Oral Thrush in Adults
Based on the underlying cause of the Candida infection, the associated symptoms can develop gradually or suddenly and can linger for days, weeks or months.
- Cream white depots on the tongue, inner cheeks, roof of the mouth, gums, and tonsils
- Slightly red lesions on the inner linings of the cheeks
- Redness and pain that creates difficulty in eating and swallowing
- Oozing from the abrasions when they are scraped or rubbed
- Cracking and redness in the corners of the mouth
- Loss of taste or unpleasant taste in the mouth
- Redness inside the mouth and throat
- Painful and burning sensation in the mouth
12 Home Remedies for Oral Thrush in Adults
Oral thrush is not a serious problem, and it can be treated successfully with natural oral thrush treatment using home remedies that have absolutely no side-effects.
Probiotics contain healthy bacteria that help to restore that balance of bacteria in the body. Candida overgrowth can result in a wide range of health problems such as oral thrush, digestive disorders, headaches, and fatigue. The probiotics don’t kill the Candida virus itself but promote the body to increase its defence against the yeast and support it the restrain the overgrowth.
Probiotics are one of the best natural remedies for oral thrush that is found in fermented products like natural unflavoured yogurt. The acidophilus bacteria found in yogurt helps to kill the Candida fungus. It also aids to improve digestion and overall health. It is best to choose unsweetened yogurt that contains live cultures. You can eat it on a daily basis as well as swish it in your mouth as a paste.
Warm Salt Water Oral Rinse
One of the best oral thrush treatment is a simple mouth rinse made with lukewarm water and salt. The saline solution creates an inhospitable environment in the mouth for the thrush fungus to survive. It also soothes and provides relief to the infection. In addition, a saline mouthwash is safe and harmless and can be used as many times as you want every day.
In order to prepare this natural mouthwash add 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) of table salt to 1 cup (237 ml) of lukewarm water, stir well so that the salt dissolves completely and rinse the mouth thoroughly with this saline water as many times as you want.
Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate is not only an essential ingredient for baking but also an important remedy for various skin related problems. It is a potent natural remedy for pimple and acne cure as well. The powerful yeast and fungus killing power of baking soda makes it a terrific oral thrush home treatment as well. Baking soda can be used for treating oral thrush by turning it into a paste.
Add 2 to 3 teaspoon of baking soda or 1 cup of lukewarm water, mix well and apply this mixture on the tongue and inner cheek are with a cotton ball. This remedy can be reapplied 2 to 3 times a day to get lasting relief from the menace of oral thrush.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a versatile kitchen ingredient that is used for addressing a wide range of skin and hair problems and it also works as a powerful home remedy for weight loss that can be combined with a healthy diet and regular exercises to get faster results, but how do you treat oral thrush with apple cider vinegar? Well, fermented food products such as organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar contain natural enzymes that promote digestion and help in restoring the balance of healthy bacteria in the gut and so that they can keep yeast infections under check, cure oral thrush and candida and prevent them from recurring. It also helps preserve the pH of the body at the ideal state which also inhibits the overgrowth of Candida albicans.
In addition, the minerals present in apple cider vinegar also boost the functions of the immune system and fight infections. Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to 1 glass of lukewarm water and drink it 2 times a day regularly to get rid or oral thrush in no time.
Garlic is not only the most popular herb for spicing up dishes but is also an extremely useful Ayurvedic medicine for treating a variety of diseases and health issues. The powerful antibacterial and antiviral properties of garlic make it one of the functional remedies for treating ringworm, and it is also useful for killing problems caused by yeast fungus.You can you either raw garlic or garlic oil to treat oral thrush. You can apply garlic oil directly on your tongue, cheeks and other parts of the mouth or chew 3 to 4 garlic cloves on a daily basis in order to reduce thrush infection which in a short period of time.
Coconut oil is yet another natural oral thrush medication that is safe for treating Candida infections in both babies and adults. The uses of cocont oil for grey hair, hair fall control, and dandruff treatment are well known, and it is also an effective natural remedy that prevents the spread of yeast infections.
Pure coconut oil has potent antimicrobial properties that aid in relieving yeast infections and the fatty base of the oil stops candid from spreading. Pure coconut oil can be used to coat the tongue of the baby and it can be rubbed on the nipples of the mother before breastfeeding so that the candida infection does not spread from the mother to the baby.
Aloe Vera is one of the most effective home remedies for oral thrush in adults that can be grown right in your garden or balcony. The numerous benefits of aloe vera for hair and skin need no new emphasis, and it is one of the most nourishing natural hair mask ingredients for dull, dry and damaged hair. Aloe vera possesses powerful antifungal properties that not only kills the existing yeast but also prevents the Candida from growing or spreading further. It can be applied both orally and topically depending on the nature and severity of the infection.
The gel of aloe vera can be applied to the tongue, cheeks and other affected areas of the mouth using a cotton ball and 1/4 glass of aloe vera juice can be ingested on a daily basis to cure oral thrush from the roots.
Neem, scientific name Azadirachta Indica, is a traditional medicinal tree. Various parts of the tree have been used for ages in Ayurvedic medicine to treat innumerable diseases and health conditions. The potent anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties of neem make it one of the best oral thrush remedies of all times. Neem also has the capacity to boost immune power which equips the body to fight and kill yeast infections. The compounds nimbidol and edunin present in neem extracts possess antifungal properties and help combat Candida infections that cause oral thrush.
In order to treat oral candidiasis, 3 drops of pure neem oil can be swished around the mouth and swallowed. A neem tea can also be prepared by steeping 10 clean neem leaves in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is one of the most useful essential oils that are used to treat various types of skin diseases. It works as a wonderful natural skin toner and astringent and is the ultimate answer to the question of how to reduce oily skin naturally. Tea tree oil is a powerful antifungal agent that kills the thrush-causing Candida fungus which makes it one of the strong home remedies for thrush mouth. But it is a strong oil, and therefore, it should not be used undiluted.
Add 2 to 3 drops of tea tree oil in a glass of water and use this water as a gargle. Make sure it gets to all corners of the mouth but don’t swallow it at any cost. Repeat the gargle twice a day till oral thrush is cured completely. This remedy is not suitable for children.
Lemon Juice and Lemon Grass
Both lemon juice and lemon grass are known for their antifungal properties which make them functional home remedies for oral thrush that are safe and can be used frequently. The highly acidic nature of lemon juice makes it impossible for the Candida yeast to survive and grow in the mouth.
Lemon juice also works as a natural bleaching agent that helps to lighten skin tan and is widely used in skin fairness products. You can consume lemon grass infused drinks and lemon water to cure oral thrush. You can also apply lemon juice directly in your mouth few times every day to see faster results.
Grapefruit Seed Extract
Grapefruit is a delicious and juicy citrus fruit that is famous for its antimicrobial properties. The extracts from grapefruit seeds can help in controlling Candida infections, especially the infections that affect the mouth. It is an effective treatment for Candida in breastfeeding mothers that prevent the transmission to babies.
The grapefruit seeds extract can be applied to the tongue and other problem areas of the mouth. You can also mix a few drops of grapefruits seeds oil in a glass of warm water and use it to rinse the mouth multiple times every day to treat oral thrush.
Turmeric and Milk Paste
Turmeric or Holy Powder is the star of Ayurveda that has been used for centuries to treat skin diseases, inflammatory conditions, heart diseases and for wound healing. Turmeric has powerful antifungal antibacterial and antiviral properties that make it one of the functional mouth thrush home remedies that are easily available in the kitchen.
Peel and crush some fresh turmeric root so that you have 3 teaspoons of the paste and add 2 spoonful of milk to it mix well and swish this mixture around your mouth for a few minutes and then spit it out.
Precautionary Measure to Prevent Oral Thrush in Adults
People with feeble immune systems or those suffering from diabetes or taking antibiotics or inhaling corticosteroids or those who wear dentures are at higher risk of developing oral thrush. There are certain preventive measures that can be followed to prevent oral thrush in adults.
Practice Proper Oral Hygiene – Visit a dentist periodically and follow the recommendations provided by the dentist on a daily basis. Brush your teeth at least 2 times daily and floss once a day. Never share your toothbrush. Replace your toothbrush often if you recently had a thrush infection. Avoid the use of mouthwashes and breath sprays.
Clean Dentures Daily – People who wear dentures are at higher risk of developing oral thrush. Remove your dentures every night before going to bed. Scrub and clean them properly using a clean toothbrush and water every day. Clean your dentures with specially designed denture cleaners every morning before putting them on.
Avoid Sugary Foods – Sugary foods and beverages and foods containing yeast can promote the growth of Candida, so it is best to avoid such foods. Also, sweet dried fruits, raisins, walnuts, and pistachios can boost Candida growth.
Opt for Detoxifying Diet –Following a fruit and vegetable detox diet plan is important during the initial stages of thrush cure because it helps flush out the toxins from the body, and it becomes much easier to treat the yeast infection. Make it a point to drink plenty of water all through this detox diet to do a liver flush. You can season your fruits and vegetables with pepper and salt but do not use table sugar.
Load up on Antioxidants – Consuming antioxidant rich fruits such as apples, pears, kiwi fruits and guava help to boost the disease-fighting capacity of the body and keep away innumerable diseases. These fruits are low in sugar and calories and high in vitamin C that helps to enhance the immunity of the body.
Try out these home remedies to get lasting relief from candida infections and oral thrush. You can opt for medical treatments if you have an underlying condition. Medical treatment includes both oral medications and topical ointments.