How to Get Rid of Oral Thrush: Natural and Medical Treatments
Oral thrush is a type of fungal infection caused by the overgrowth of Candida albicans in the mouth. While it’s not usually serious, oral thrush can be uncomfortable and unsightly, and may cause difficulty in swallowing or talking. In this article, we’ll explore the causes and symptoms of oral thrush, and discuss home remedies and medical treatments to help you get rid of it for good.
Causes of Oral Thrush
Oral thrush is caused by an overgrowth of a type of yeast called Candida albicans, which is normally present in small amounts in the mouth. However, certain factors can cause the yeast to multiply and grow out of control, leading to an oral thrush infection. These include:
- Weak immune system
- Taking antibiotics or corticosteroids
- Dry mouth
- Poor oral hygiene
- Having diabetes or a high sugar diet
Symptoms of Oral Thrush
The symptoms of oral thrush can vary in severity, but may include:
- White or cream-colored lesions on the tongue, gums, inner cheeks, or roof of the mouth
- Redness or soreness in the mouth
- Difficulty swallowing
- Loss of taste
- Cracking at the corners of the mouth
- Cotton-like feeling in the mouth
Home Remedies to Get Rid of Oral Thrush
If you’re looking for natural remedies to treat oral thrush, try the following:
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that can be found in certain foods or supplements. They can help to restore the balance of bacteria in the gut and clear up the fungal infection. Yogurt is a good source of probiotics; try eating it daily to help get rid of oral thrush.
If you want a more concentrated dose of probiotics, you can also take a supplement. Look for a high-quality probiotic supplement with at least 10 billion CFUs (colony forming units) of bacteria.
Gargling with a Saltwater Rinse
A saltwater rinse can help to soothe irritation and promote healing in the mouth. To make a saltwater rinse, mix 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water. Gargle with the solution for 30 seconds and then spit it out. Repeat this several times a day until the thrush is gone.
Several natural remedies can be effective in treating oral thrush, including:
- Tea Tree Oil: Mix a few drops of tea tree oil in a cup of warm water and swish it around in your mouth for 30 seconds. Spit it out and repeat several times a day.
- Coconut Oil: Apply coconut oil directly to the affected area in the mouth. Its antifungal properties will help to kill the fungus causing the infection.
- Baking Soda: Mix 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of warm water. Swish it around in the mouth for 30 seconds and then spit it out. Repeat this several times a day.
Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene
Regular brushing and flossing can help to prevent oral thrush from developing. Make sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss once a day. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
Also, cleaning your dentures or any other oral appliances daily to help prevent the growth of fungi.
Avoiding Certain Foods
Certain foods such as sugar, refined carbohydrates, and alcohol can feed the fungus causing oral thrush. To speed up the healing process, try to avoid these foods and eat a healthy, balanced diet instead.
Medical Treatment for Oral Thrush
If home remedies aren’t effective in getting rid of oral thrush, you may need to see a healthcare provider for professional treatment. They may suggest an antifungal medication, such as fluconazole or clotrimazole, to help clear up the infection.
It’s important to follow the healthcare provider’s instructions carefully. In some cases, the medication will need to be taken for several weeks.
When to Seek Professional Help
If your oral thrush symptoms are severe, or if you have a weakened immune system, it’s important to see a healthcare provider. They can diagnose the infection and prescribe the appropriate medication to help clear it up.
Oral thrush is a common condition that can be uncomfortable and unsightly. But with the right treatment, it can be quickly and easily treated. Incorporating natural home remedies and maintaining good oral hygiene can help to soothe the symptoms of oral thrush and prevent it from recurring. It’s also important to seek professional help if necessary to ensure appropriate treatment.