Human body is normally host to various funguses that are kept in check by other bacteria and microorganisms. These funguses exist in small amounts in the mouth, digestive system, and skin. Due to some factors, the level of beneficial microorganisms gets low which results in the proliferation of these funguses. This results in the fungal infection. When the balance of microorganisms in the mouth gets upsets, it results in mouth fungus infection. The infection causes white spots on the tongue or inner cheeks and it is often painful. If left untreated it can develop into a chronic condition. Anti-fungal drugs are the best way to treat mouth fungus. Check out information on various aspects of mouth fungus.
Information On Mouth Fungus
- Mouth fungus is an infection of the mouth caused by the candida fungus, also known as yeast. Candida infection is not limited to the mouth; it can occur in other parts of the body as well, causing diaper rash in infants or vaginal yeast infections in women.
- Mouth fungus can affect anyone, though it occurs most often in babies and toddlers, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems.
Mouth Fungus Causes
- Small amounts of the candida fungus are present in the mouth, digestive tract, and skin of most healthy people and are normally kept in check by other bacteria and microorganisms in the body.
- However, certain illnesses, stress, or medications can disturb the delicate balance, causing the fungus candida to grow out of control, causing infection.
- Some medications that upset the balance of microorganisms in the mouth include corticosteroids, antibiotics, and birth control pills.
- Illnesses or medical situations that make candida infection more likely to develop include uncontrolled diabetes, HIV infection, cancer, dry mouth, or pregnancy (caused by the hormonal changes that occur with pregnancy).
- People who smoke or wear dentures that don't fit properly also are at increased risk for mouth fungus. In addition, babies can pass the infection to their mothers during breast-feeding.
Symptoms Of Mouth Fungus
- Mouth fungus usually develops suddenly, but it may become chronic, persisting over a long period of time.
- A common sign of mouth fungus is the presence of creamy white, slightly raised lesions in the mouth—usually on your tongue or inner cheeks—but also sometimes on the roof of the mouth, gums, tonsils, or back of the throat.
- The lesions, which may have a "cottage cheese" appearance, can be painful and may bleed slightly when scraped or brushed.
- In severe cases, the lesions may spread into the esophagus, or swallowing tube, causing pain or difficulty in swallowing, a feeling that food is stuck in the throat or mid-chest area, and fever.
Mouth Fungus Treatment
- Antifungal medications, which are generally taken for 10 to 14 days, are often prescribed to treat mouth fungus.
- These medicines are available in tablets, lozenges, or liquids.
Mouth Fungus Prevention
- Follow good oral hygiene practices. Brush the teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day.
- Avoid mouthwashes or sprays. These products can destroy the normal balance of microorganisms in the mouth.
- Consult the dentist regularly. Especially if you have diabetes or wear dentures.
- Limit the amount of sugar and yeast-containing foods you eat. Foods such as bread, beer, and wine encourage candida growth.
- If you smoke, quit.
Who Are At Special Risk?
- Newborn babies.
- Denture users.
- Adults with diabetes or other metabolic disturbance.
- Those with a dry mouth relating to side effects of their medication.
- Those undergoing antibiotic or chemotherapy treatment.
- The prescribed oral steroid medication or steroid metered dose inhalers.
- Drug users.
- People with poor nutrition.
- People with an immune deficiency.