“What is that white patch on my baby’s mouth”? Any mother could have mumbled similar statement like this while giggling with their angels. Basically, those white curd-like patches that can be seen in the tongue are not simply food residues but thrush. What is a thrush in simple terms?
Thrush is yeast infection caused by specific species of fungi called Candida Albicans. Usually, these organisms live in any healthy intestinal folds of all humans except that when the environment of the body undergoes drastic chemical change, the yeasts grow in uncontrolled amounts causing irritable symptoms of thrush anywhere in the body. However, they have favorite places, especially the hidden and moist folds of the skin.
In a very wet portion of the body, the tongue is one of the perfect places for yeasts. In the mouth, which is the main receiving vessel of all foods and beverages, it has all the possibilities of infection while its alkalinity is always changing constantly every meal. If it is not hygienically maintained, thrush can spread in no time.
The trouble with thrush is that it is never attractive to look at whenever your baby smiles. Usually, thrush in infants is always mistaken to be traces of milk, as they appear nested at the tongue. If the baby is undergoing diaper rashes at the same time, expect that what you have seen in the mouth is not ordinary milk residue. Actually tongue thrush in infant is not harmful, however it can cause some amount of discomfort and irritation and feeding problem, if painful.
To some severity, it could ooze and really get painful. No matter how you scrape the white residues with a brush, it usually does not get removed at once. For babies, it is best to avoid thrush by doing the following:
For younger infants, the mouth must be religiously wiped by wet washcloth every after feeding to prevent accumulated food residues from sticking long to the mouth. Avoid sugar altogether. Breastfeeding moms must make sure that if they contract thrush in the nipples, they take precautionary measure not to contaminate the infant’s mouth.
For adults, thrush is easier to determine. Sometimes it is caused by some medicines that alter the natural balance of the body flora. Such medicines must be taken with precaution unless really needed, or otherwise, it should make one aware of the side effects, and one of them is fungal infection. These medicines are: antibiotics, birth control pills, steroids found in meat products, cancer drugs.
For adults, if white patches are noticed on the tongue, it can be brushed lightly with baking soda or some amount of salt before it gets harder to remove and really thickened. By doing this on every brushing, the spots will be diminished. It is also important to brush the teeth and take mouthwash after eating. If the thrush is uncontrollable, as it has explosive capacity of 100 cells within 24 hours, then it must be consulted to a doctor.
Tongue thrush is a very common thing that happens to anyone from time to time. The mouth is a heavy traffic of the most basic need we do, that is eating. It will not be hard to deal with it if there is enough prevention done. The best way to avoid tongue thrush is good dental hygiene plus brushing of tongue as part of cleaning it.
Note: This article may be freely reproduced as long as the AUTHOR’S resource box at the bottom of this article is included and and all links must be Active/Linkable with no syntax changes.