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Oral Thrush (Oral Fungal Infection)

Oral thrush, also known as oral candidiasis, is a fungal infection that occurs in the mouth and throat. It is caused by an overgrowth of the fungus Candida, which is normally present in small amounts in the mouth and digestive tract.

Symptoms of oral thrush may include:

  • White, creamy patches or lesions on the tongue, inner cheeks, roof of the mouth, gums, or tonsils

  • Redness or soreness in the affected areas

  • Pain or difficulty swallowing

  • Loss of taste

  • Cracking or bleeding at the corners of the mouth (in severe cases)

Red flags that may indicate a more serious condition include:

  • Persistent or worsening symptoms despite treatment

  • Fever or other signs of infection

  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing

  • Lesions that spread to other parts of the body

Treatment for oral thrush typically involves antifungal medications to kill the Candida fungus. These medications may be taken orally or applied topically. Self-care measures can also help alleviate symptoms and promote healing, including:

  • Practicing good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly

  • Rinsing the mouth with saltwater or an antiseptic mouthwash

  • Avoiding irritating substances such as tobacco, alcohol, and spicy or acidic foods

  • Eating a balanced diet and staying hydrated

  • Treating underlying medical conditions that may be contributing to the infection, such as diabetes or immune system disorders

In severe or recurrent cases of oral thrush, referral to a healthcare provider or specialist may be necessary. They may recommend additional tests or treatments, such as blood tests or endoscopy, to identify underlying causes or complications.

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