The answer is a definite “yes.” Moms are familiar with “thrush” a yeast infection in a baby’s mouth that is easily treated. But moms and other adults can also become infected with it as well. And oral yeast infections can be treated naturally.
Healthy adults with oral thrush usually have no problem getting rid of it. People who have weaker immune systems from cancer treatments, poorly-controlled diabetes, those with HIV/AIDS, and others, are more likely to develop oral thrush.
Antibiotic treatment throws off the balance of bacteria by killing off the good bacteria along with the bad. This opens the door for the yeast that naturally lives in the mouth to multiply and take over.
Dryness of the mouth is another problem causing the overgrowth of yeast. Some conditions and medications dry out the mouth.
You can easily see a yeast infection brewing in your mouth.
• White patches form on the tongue, inside the cheeks, the roof and the back of the mouth. Some patches look creamy white and others look like cottage cheese. Patches also can form on the tonsils, gums, and the back of the throat.
• The mouth feels “cottony.”
• Swallowing and eating can cause pain or discomfort.
• Loss of taste is common.
• The corners of the mouth may crack and become red.
• If you have dentures, redness and pain are felt underneath.
Oral thrush can spread down the esophagus, which is the tube that connects the mouth and throat to the stomach. This can cause you to have difficulty swallowing and pain. It may also make you feel as if something is stuck in your throat. Healthy people usually avoid further spread, but yeast infections can travel to many other parts of the body.
There are home remedies that will help heal and make you feel more comfortable. Check with your health provider with any concerns or questions.
• Try a salt water rinse. Add a ½ teaspoon of salt to a cup of warm water. Swish around the mouth and spit. Do not drink the water.
• Try a baking soda rinse. The same as above.
• Eat yogurt. If you are taking antibiotics which can cause a yeast infection, eat yogurt several times a day. The cultures in yogurt help restore the balance of good to bad bacteria. It also goes down easily. Don’t eat sweetened yogurt because yeast loves sugar and feeds on it. If you don’t care for yogurt, you can buy an over-the-counter probiotic supplement,
• Gentian violet is a violet-colored dye used as a home remedy. You can buy it at a pharmacy or online. Use a cotton swab to apply it to affected areas.
• Try a lemon juice rinse. Mix the juice of half of a lemon to one cup of water. Swish it in the mouth, or just swallow it.
• Try a baking soda paste. Mix one or two tablespoons with a small amount of water to make the paste. Apply with a cotton ball to areas of yeast and leave for a few minutes. Do this three times a day.
To avoid oral thrush, make sure you carefully follow the best dental hygiene routines. Make sure you brush twice and floss every day. See your dentist for regular checkups. Try to keep sugar out of your diet as much as possible. If you have diabetes, keep good control so less sugar will be in your saliva. The dry mouth should be treated. Keep dentures clean. If you use an inhaler for asthma, brush your teeth or rinse after using it.
Oral thrush can be treated with home remedies. If there’s no improvement or it gets worse, a trip to the doctor or dentist is in order. Good preventive measures will avoid repetition.