Thrush

Thrush, also known as oral candidiasis, is a fungal infection that affects the mouth and throat. It is caused by an overgrowth of Candida albicans. Common symptoms include white patches, redness, soreness, and difficulty swallowing. Treatment involves antifungal medications, good oral hygiene, and addressing underlying causes. Prevention includes brushing, flossing, and avoiding sugary foods.

Best medications for Thrush

Drug NameClassRouteStandard DosagePrice
KetoconazoleAzole AntifungalsExternal2-2, 2 & 1, 2 & 2, 200, 1-2.5-2, 2-2.5, 1, 2-4, 2 & 20, 2 %from$7.14
VfendAzole AntifungalsIntravenous200, 50, 40 MGfrom$42.26
DiflucanAzole AntifungalsOral150, 200, 50, 10, 40, 100 MGfrom$16.35
NoxafilAzole AntifungalsOral40, 100, 300 MG/MLfrom$406.20
ClotrimazoleAzole AntifungalsExternal1-0.05 & 20, 1, 10, 1-0.05, 2 %from$6.28
NystatinPolyene AntifungalsExternal100000, 500000, 100000-0.1 UNIT/GMfrom$5.41
OravigAzole AntifungalsBucal50 MGfrom$2186.50

Introduction

Thrush, also known as oral candidiasis or oral yeast infection, is a common fungal infection that affects the mouth and throat. It is caused by an overgrowth of a fungus called Candida albicans, which is naturally present in the mouth in small amounts. However, certain factors can disrupt the balance of microorganisms in the mouth, allowing the fungus to multiply and cause an infection. Thrush can occur in people of all ages, but it is particularly common in infants, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems.

Causes

Several factors can increase the risk of developing thrush. These include: 1. Weakened immune system: Individuals with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS or undergoing chemotherapy, are more susceptible to thrush. 2. Antibiotics: The use of broad-spectrum antibiotics can kill beneficial bacteria in the mouth, disrupting the natural balance and allowing the overgrowth of Candida. 3. Poor oral hygiene: Inadequate dental care can lead to the accumulation of plaque and the growth of Candida. 4. Dry mouth: Conditions that cause dry mouth (xerostomia), such as certain medications or medical conditions, can promote the growth of candida. 5. Dentures: Ill-fitting or poorly cleaned dentures can create an environment favorable for the growth of Candida.

Symptoms

The symptoms of thrush can vary depending on the individual and the severity of the infection. Common signs and symptoms include: 1. White patches: The development of creamy white, slightly raised lesions on the tongue, inner cheeks, gums, tonsils, or throat is a characteristic feature of thrush. 2. Redness and soreness: The affected areas may appear red and inflamed. The infection can cause discomfort and a burning sensation. 3. Difficulty swallowing: If the throat is involved, swallowing may become painful or difficult. 4. Loss of taste: Some individuals may experience a decreased sense of taste or an unpleasant taste in the mouth. 5. Cracking and redness at the corners of the mouth: In severe cases, thrush can lead to the development of angular cheilitis, characterized by painful cracks and redness at the corners of the mouth.

Treatment

The treatment of thrush typically involves antifungal medications, which can be prescribed in several forms depending on the severity of the infection. These medications may include antifungal mouth rinses or lozenges that dissolve in the mouth. In more severe cases, a doctor may prescribe oral antifungal medications. It is important to complete the full course of treatment as prescribed to ensure the infection is fully cleared. In addition to medication, there are self-care measures that can help alleviate symptoms and prevent the recurrence of thrush. These include maintaining good oral hygiene practices such as regular brushing, flossing, and tongue scraping. It is also important to ensure dentures are properly cleaned and fitted. If an individual has recurring episodes of thrush or has risk factors that make them more susceptible to infections, addressing the underlying cause is crucial. This may involve managing any medical conditions, addressing immune system deficiencies, or reviewing medications that may contribute to the development of thrush.

Prevention

To reduce the risk of developing thrush, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene practices. This includes: 1. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. 2. Flossing daily to remove plaque and debris from between the teeth. 3. Using an antiseptic mouthwash or a diluted solution of water and hydrogen peroxide to rinse the mouth. 4. Avoiding excessive consumption of sugary foods and drinks, as sugar can contribute to the growth of Candida.