Treatments to Tame Oral Thrush
Oral thrush treatments highly depend on the severity level of the infection, the person’s general health and the reason why it developed. It can range from treating oral thrush using salt water to taking prescribed medications.
Professionally Treating Oral Thrush
Robert Matlock, DDS, MAGD, of Matlock General Dentistry in Rogers, Ark., suggests people wishing to treat oral thrush pick up inexpensive antifungal medications, such as Nystatin or metronidazole (an antibiotic), found in a few different forms in pharmacies. “It’s taking for usually two weeks, and the condition normally disappears,” Dr. Matlock says.
Patients may be prescribed clotrimazole – lozenges for thrush that is more serious. Once 10 days have passed and the medications do not prove effective, other medications are available.
If oral thrush spreads throughout a person’s body or the individual has HIV/AIDS, stronger medications like fluconazole or itraconazole may be necessary.
However, according to Mayo Clinic, the fungus can stop responding to these medications, especially with people carrying an HIV infection. In these cases, the drug Amphotericin B can be used.
Be careful with these drugs, however. They have been known to create liver damage, so blood tests may be necessary to monitor liver function.
Treating Oral Thrush at Home
Oftentimes, professional guidance is needed when treating oral thrush. However, there are a few ways people can begin to treat oral thrush on their own. Matlock says consistently rinsing out the mouth is key to treating oral thrush.
Try these tips for treating oral thrush at home:
- Rinsing the mouth with salt water can reduce symptoms, and eating unsweetened yogurt can help to rejuvenate the mouth and throat’s beneficial bacteria.
- Taking acidophilus – allied bacteria aka “flora” – in liquid or capsule form can also help to restore the body’s healthy bacteria.
- Denture-wearers should consistently and thoroughly clean their dentures every day.
- Use a soft toothbrush.
- Wash mouth with a 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution throughout the day.
- People with diabetes should keep good control of blood sugar levels, which may help get rid of oral thrush.
And surprisingly: in a study of 90 HIV/AIDS patients diagnosed with oral thrush, researchers at Tshwane University of Technology in Gauteng, South Africa, found the use of lemon juice and lemon grass to be effective in treating oral thrush.
In less severe circumstances, keeping up with basic oral hygiene during a bout of oral thrush can help with getting rid of it. Toothbrushes should be replaced more frequently and never shared. Mayo Clinic reports mouthwash and sprays should be avoided, as they can change the natural flora in the mouth.
Treating Oral Thrush in Babies
According to Pubmed, treatment is often unnecessary when infants develop oral thrush because the infection will heal itself within two weeks.
But breastfeeding women who develop thrush from babies’ mouths should use nursing pads to stop Candida – the fungus present in oral thrush – from spreading.
And if a baby uses a pacifier or drinks from a bottle, or the mother uses a breast pump, they should each be cleaned thoroughly in a water and vinegar mixture every day and left to air dry. This will prevent the Candida from growing.