Oral Disease, Oral Thrush
Oral thrush happens when a kind of fungus (Candida albicans) accumulates on the lining of the mouth. It causes creamy white lesions on tongue or inner cheeks that can be painful and bleed when being scraped. These lesions can spread to the roof of the mouth, gums, or even back of the throat. Cottage cheese-like lesions, cracking at the corners of the mouth, cottony feeling in the mouth, pain and loss of taste are other symptoms of oral thrush. Although it occurs in people who wear dentures as well, kids dentists report Oral thrush in babies more than any other group.
Oral thrush usually happens in people with weakened immune system caused by diseases or some drugs and in people whose natural balance of microorganisms is disturbed by antibiotics. People who have HIV/AIDS, cancer or diabetes are more susceptible to oral thrush because of their weakened immune system and in case of uncontrolled diabetes, because of the excess amount of sugar in their saliva. Oral thrush has been seen in people who smoke and people who have dry mouth conditions as well. Candida fungus naturally exists in healthy people. If the immune system is weakened, these bacteria overgrow and cause infection. Kids dentist report oral thrush in a large group of infants, probably because their immune system is not fully developed yet. If you have oral thrush and it’s because of wearing dentures, consult with your dentist. Remember to remove your dentures and thoroughly clean them at bed time. Your dentist might recommend an antimicrobial mouth rinse to use as disinfectant for your dentures. As a kids dentist and family dentist, I recommend practicing proper oral hygiene as the best prevention for oral thrush and other oral diseases. Regular dental visits are also very important, especially if you wear dentures. Dentures need to be adjusted every once in a while and your dentist can check for signs of fungus infection. Based on your age and severity of your symptoms your dentist will suggest a specific course of dental treatment to cure oral thrush.