What is Oral Thrush?

Female Patient Opening Mouth

Discover everything you need to know about oral thrush, from what it actually is, to how to treat or prevent oral thrush from happening in the first place. 

Don’t get freaked out, but everyone has a small amount of fungus living in their mouth. This is perfectly normal, but if the fungus rapidly multiplies it can lead to a yeast infection. 

What is Oral Thrush?

Well, oral thrush is when a yeast infection develops inside your mouth. Oral thrush is more likely to happen in toddlers. You’ll notice white or yellowish lesions that are on the inside of your cheeks, gums, lips, tongue, and on the roof of the mouth. Luckily for people experiencing oral thrush, the infection is pretty mild and these spots go away with proper treatment, and it is very unlikely to cause serious problems. If left untreated, it can spread to other parts of the body and potentially cause serious problems.

Oral Thrush Symptoms 

In the beginning, you may not notice any symptoms but as the infection gets worse the following symptoms may develop.

  • white or yellow spots that develop on your inner cheeks, gums, tongue, tonsils, or lips
  • soreness in your mouth
  • a fuzzy sensation in your mouth
  • dry skin on the corners of your mouth
  • trouble swallowing
  • a bad taste or smell in your mouth
  • slight bleeding
  • loss of taste

Oral Thrush Treatments

Treatment for oral thrush is rather simple. No procedure is needed since most of the time a simple prescription can help treat everything going on. Once you start treatment, oral thrush usually will go away in a couple of weeks. Your dentist will likely prescribe one or more of these medications:

  • nystatin (Nystop, Nyata), a mouthwash for antifungal purposes 
  • itraconazole (Sporanox), an oral antifungal medication 
  • fluconazole (Diflucan), an oral antifungal medication
  • clotrimazole (Mycelex Troche), an antifungal medication that’s available as a lozenge
  • amphotericin B (AmBisome, Fungizone), used for more severe cases of oral thrush

Prevent Future Oral Thrush

Even though oral thrush is unlikely to cause any serious harm, it’s important to get it treated right away so it can’t spread and cause further complications. Practicing good oral hygiene will prevent any fungus in your mouth from multiplying to uncontrollable levels. Make sure to brush twice daily and floss. Don’t share cups or utensils with others and try to limit food with high sugar contents. If you have any concerns, see your dentist as they can help figure out a solution that’s perfect for you.