Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Oral thrush - infection of yeast fungus, Candida albicans

Oral thrush is an infection of yeast fungus, Candida albicans, in the mucous membranes of the mouth. Like most healthy people, you probably have small amounts of the fungus Candida albicans in your mouth and digestive tract and on your skin.

You can't see the fungus and normally won't know it's there - Candida usually doesn't cause problems because normal bacteria (flora) in your body keep its growth in check. But when this balance is disturbed - by medications, stress or illness - Candida can grow out of control, leading to problems such as diaper rash, vaginal yeast infections and a mouth infection called oral thrush.

Oral thrush causes creamy white lesions, usually on your tongue or inner cheeks. The lesions can be painful and may bleed slightly when you scrape them or brush your teeth. Sometimes the infection may spread to the roof of your mouth, your gums, tonsils or the back of your throat.
Although oral thrush can affect anyone, it occurs most often in babies and toddlers, older adults, and people whose immune systems have been compromised by illness or medications.
It's usually a minor problem for healthy children and adults and can be effectively treated with natural remedies or antifungal medications. But for people with weakened immune systems, symptoms may be more severe, widespread and difficult to control.
more information: Oral thrush

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