Oral thrush is usually treated with anti-fungal medications, but there are ways to cure this disease at home, with natural remedies.
What is oral thrush
Oral thrush is a fungal infection that affects the oral cavity. In most cases it is caused by the fungus called Candida albicans, although it can be caused by other strains of candida, like Candida tropicalis and Candida glabrata.
Oral thrush is the term used for fungal infections in babies, while in adults it is usually called pral candidiasis or moniliasis.
Signs and symptoms of oral thrush may develop suddenly and persist for a long time. The most common symptoms include white patches in the mouth, inside the cheeks, on the tongue and on the roof of the mouth. The patches can be scraped and in that case they bleed. Those lesions may hurt while eating and they may spread into the esophagus, making it difficult to swallow.
Oral thrush can be contagious, especially in breastfeeding mothers. Babies are particularly prone to fungus in the mouth and they can pass the infection to the mother during breastfeeding, especially, if the nipples are sore and cracked. The mother than passes the infection back to the baby in a continuous circle.
Home remedies for oral thrush
It is wise to follow the doctor’s recommendations regarding the therapy for thrush but adding home remedies to the standard therapy can accelerate the healing and prevent recurring infections.
Yogurt is particularly recommended for people who have oral thrush. This is because yogurt contains acidophilus, a bacteria that has the ability to fight fungus.
During the infection it is best to stay off sweets and sugars, because the fungus feeds on these foods. The same goes for fermented foods.
There are several mixtures that can be used for gargling in case of oral thrush. One is water with a few drops of tea tree oil, and another useful one is a mixture of lukewarm water, apple cider vinegar and a pinch of salt. Those mixtures are only meant for gargling and rinsing and should not be swallowed.
A simple saline solution can be very helpful too. A saline solution is made with one cup of water with one teaspoon of salt, preferably sea salt. It is recommended to gargle or rinse with this solution several times a day. Saline solutions are effective for a number of diseases affecting the oral cavity, including sore throat and gum disease.
A healthy, well-balanced diet rich in fiber is necessary for those who are trying to fight off oral thrush.
Proper oral hygiene is very important too, as it can prevent further spreading of the fungus.
Oral thrush in babies can be treated with a mixture based on grapefruit seed extract. This mixture is made from one ounce of water and ten drops of grapefruit seed oil and it is used to clean the nipples in breastfeeding mothers and to gently rub the baby’s mouth. This can prevent the infection from passing continuously from the mother to the baby and back.