September 27, 2023
Everything you need to know about treating thrush, from home remedies to medical treatments and lifestyle changes to prevent thrush from recurring. Learn to recognize the symptoms and seek medical attention if necessary.


Thrush, also known as oral Candidiasis, is a fungal infection that commonly affects the mouth, throat, and tongue. Candida, the fungus which causes thrush, can multiply when the body’s natural defenses are weakened

Although common in young children and babies, thrush can also occur in adults with weakened immune systems or other medical conditions. It is essential to treat thrush promptly to avoid complications, which may result in a more severe infection.

This article provides an overview of thrush, its symptoms, and how to treat it using medical, natural, and home remedies effectively.

A step-by-step guide to treating thrush at home

While certain natural remedies and medications can help with thrush, there are home remedies available that are effective at treating mild cases of thrush. Here are some step-by-step approaches:

Saltwater Rinse

A saltwater rinse can help reduce the symptoms of thrush. Mix a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water and rinse your mouth with it several times a day, especially after meals. Ensure to spit the rinse out and avoid swallowing it as it may cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.


Yogurt contains live culture bacteria (probiotics) that can help fight candida. Eating plain yogurt or applying it topically to the affected area several times a day for about a week can help resolve symptoms of thrush. Avoid adding sugar to the yogurt, as sugar can worsen the infection.


Garlic is known for its many healing properties, and it also has antifungal properties that may help with thrush. Include garlic in your diet or crush a garlic clove and swish it in your mouth several times a day to help alleviate symptoms. Raw garlic may cause a burning sensation, so use it with caution.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has antifungal properties, making it effective in treating thrush. Add a few drops of tea tree oil to a cup of warm water and gargle with it a few times a day. Be sure not to swallow the solution, and avoid tea tree oil products containing alcohol, as it may irritate the mouth.

The dos and don’ts of treating thrush

While treating thrush, certain practices can make it harder to manage symptoms. Here are some dos and don’ts when treating thrush

Avoiding sugary foods and drinks

Sugar promotes the growth of candida, making thrush symptoms worse. Avoid foods high in sugar, such as baked goods, candy, and soda. Instead, opt for water and natural foods such as vegetables and fruits.

Using gentle and non-abrasive soaps

When washing your mouth and tongue, use gentle and non-abrasive soaps to avoid irritating the affected area. Vigorous scrubbing can aggravate the symptoms and further speed up the spread of the candida fungus.

Avoiding certain medicated mouthwashes

Mouthwash containing alcohol may make the symptoms worse by irritating the mouth. Instead, use a mild mouthwash recommended by a dentist or pharmacy

Maintaining proper dental hygiene

Brush and floss daily to maintain proper dental hygiene, which can help prevent signs of thrush and reduce the spread of the fungus. Use a soft-bristled brush, change the toothbrush often and rinse with antifungal mouthwash to keep your mouth healthy.

Medical treatments for thrush

Medical treatment for thrush typically involves antifungal medications such as:

Prescription Medications

If the infection persists or is severe in nature, then a doctor may prescribe oral antifungal medication that includes fluconazole, clotrimazole, and nystatin. It usually takes about seven to fourteen days for symptoms to disappear, and it is essential to complete the full course of medication as prescribed by the doctor.

Over-the-counter treatments

Over-the-counter treatments such as clotrimazole, miconazole, and terbinafine are available in the form of ointments or creams and help contain the growth of the fungus. It is essential to use such medication as recommended.

Antifungal creams, tablets, and mouthwashes

Antifungal medication can come in the form of creams, tablets, and mouthwashes. One can apply the topical cream directly to the infected area and gargle the mouthwash to combat oral thrush.

Preventing thrush from recurring

Preventing thrush from appearing repeatedly may require frequent treatment and lifestyle changes. Here are some tips to prevent thrush:

Maintaining a healthy diet

Avoiding sugar, consuming probiotics, and a balanced diet may boost the immune system, promoting better resistance to infections such as thrush.

Avoiding irritants

Avoiding irritants that can further damage the delicate lining of the mouth is crucial. These irritants include cigarettes and alcohol, as they may lead to a weakened immune system, which can make it more difficult to fight against thrush.

Ensuring proper dental hygiene

Practicing good dental hygiene is essential in preventing the spread of the fungus that causes thrush. Using soft-bristled brushes, replacing toothbrushes regularly, and flossing daily can help eliminate harmful bacteria and prevent the spread of infection.

Consistent medical treatment

In cases of severe infections or recurring thrush, it is essential to receive medical treatment consistently. In addition, following prescribed medication as directed by the doctor can ensure that candida is eliminated, preventing the infection from recurring.

Natural remedies that may help treat thrush

There are several natural remedies that have been put forward as a possible solution for thrush. Here are some:


Probiotics, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, have been reported to be effective in reducing the severity of thrush symptoms in some people. These can be taken in pill form as a dietary supplement or consumed in probiotic foods.

Herbal supplements

Herbs, including Pau d’arco and Goldenseal, have antifungal properties that may help with thrush symptoms. However, more studies are needed to determine their effectiveness in treating thrush.

The link between thrush and certain medical conditions

While thrush can occur in otherwise healthy people, certain medical conditions may increase the risk of developing thrush. Here are some:


People with diabetes are more prone to developing thrush as elevated blood sugar encourages the growth of candida. Controlled blood sugar levels can help reduce the likelihood of developing thrush

Immune disorders

People with weakened immune systems such as those with HIV/AIDS, cancer, or autoimmune diseases may have an increased risk of developing thrush.

Managing medical conditions to prevent thrush

Managing these medical conditions well involves following prescribed medication and lifestyle changes as recommended by a healthcare provider. This will help reduce the risk of developing thrush.

Lifestyle changes to help prevent thrush

Lifestyle changes can significantly reduce the likelihood of developing thrush. Here are some lifestyle changes that may help:

Stopping smoking

Smoking can weaken the immune system, making it harder for the body to fight-off infections such as thrush.

Reducing stress levels

Reducing stress levels is essential in maintaining a healthy immune system, which can prevent certain medical conditions and reduce the risk of developing thrush.

Maintaining a healthy weight

Having a healthy weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help prevent thrush and improve overall health.


In conclusion, thrush is a fungus that can cause a wide range of symptoms, ranging from mild to severe. While there are natural, home remedies available, medical treatment is necessary in severe cases. Keeping up with healthy lifestyles habits such as proper dental hygiene, healthy nutrition, and avoiding irritants are essential in preventing thrush. Seek medical attention if symptoms persist or worsen, and it is always better to take action when you first notice symptoms of thrush.

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