Oral thrush is a fungal infection which appears as raised, creamy spots on the mucus membranes lining the mouth, lips and throat. When rubbed, the spots are sore and red underneath.
Thrush is an infection, cause by the fungus Candida albicans, which flourishes in the moist, warm areas of the body. The fungus is naturally present in the mucous membranes of the mouth, as well as in the skin, the intestinal tract and the vagina. It's role is to maintain a balance of flora in the body but, when there is an excessive growth of fungus, it can cause symptoms. In cases of serious immune deficiency, such as AIDS, thrush can spread to the lungs, where it can be life-threatening. The long-term use of anti-cancer drugs or steroids may cause the flora to be destroyed. Oral thrush is common in children, who have immature immune systems, and in adults whose immune systems are impaired by illness or immune-suppressing drugs.
When to seek further professional advice
Oral thrush usually responds well to treatment. However, thrush in other areas of the body may be harder to control. See a doctor for advice.
Aromatherapy: Tea tree oil with oil of myrrh diluted in water and sluiced around the mouth three times a day can be effective. A gargle of lavender, melissa and thyme may help.
Kinesiology: A kinesiologist might suggest an anti-candidal diet, a tea tree oil gargle and mouthwash, and aim treatment at the endocrine and immune systems, among other things. Support for systems will be offered, as well as balancing. Other therapies include: Acupressure, shiatsu, crystal and gemstone therapy, Homeopathy, and Western Herbalism.
Oral Thrush should receive medical attention as the longer the thrush is able to overgrow, the harder it is to eradicate. Oral thrush is usually treated by antifungal drugs, such as clotrimazole or nystatin, taken orally and swilled round the mouth.
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