Oral thrush, also known as oral candidiasis is a yeast infection in the mouth. It is usually common among new born babies and toddlers. Adults also suffer from oral thrush.
It is important to treat Oral thrush as soon as possible, in order to contain the infection. However, some mild cashes of oral thrush can go away on its own.
Before we properly delve into natural remedies for oral thrush, it is important we look at the symptoms of oral thrush:
Also known as oral candidiasasis or oropharyngeal candidiasis, oral thrush is just a manifestation of overgrowth of bad bacteria to take over the good bacteria in the mouth.
It is completely normal for candida albicans to live in the mouths of healthy individuals, however, when it gets the chance to accumulate, it can spread to the gums, tonsils, the roof of the mouth, and the back of the throat. If left to thrive, it will cause thrush.
Here are some causes of oral thrush
- Birth control pills and other hormonal contraceptives
- Depressed immune system
- High sugar diet
- Hormonal changes
- Mercury toxicity
- Poor digestion
- Poor elimination
- Prolonged or frequent use of antibiotics
At first appearance, oral thrush might not have any visible symptom. However, as time trudges on and the fungi continues to grow, we notice the following:
- creamy white bumps on the tongue, inner cheeks, gums, or tonsils
- slight bleeding when the bumps are scraped
- pain at the site of the bumps
- angular cheilitis, or dry, cracked skin at the corners of the mouth
- difficulty swallowing
- a bad taste in the mouth
- Erosion of tooth enamel
- Inflamed red patches on the skin
- Oral inflammation
- Oral mucous
These home remedies, used in addition to antifungal medications, may help relieve symptoms of the infection:
- Good oral hygiene
While you’re brushing, the whole attention should not be just on your teeth, but on your tongue also. Doing this, along with rinsing your mouth thoroughly with antiseptic mouthwash can help in your fight against mouth thrush.
- Raw Garlic
Garlic is also known to be incredibly antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral. This is owing to its allicin content and is one of the most effective oral thrush treatments for both infants and adults. It is one of the best immune boosters that is safe to use for all ages, while pregnant, and while breastfeeding.
For the treatment of thrush tongue in infants, the mother should eat raw garlic with meals in order to “infuse” her milk with the healing properties of garlic. Even consuming just one clove of raw garlic a day is very effective.
- Salt water
The usefulness of salt extends way past the kitchen. It has antiseptic, cleansing, and soothing properties which makes it a common home remedy for many oral problems. A salt water rinse to help ease the symptoms of the yeast infection and clean out thrush in mouth.
How to use:
- Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of warm water.
- Swish the solution throughout your mouth.
- Spit out the salt solution
- Baking soda
Research has proven that s swabbing the inside of the mouth with a solution of two tablespoons of baking soda and one cup of water, to help make the mouth more inhospitable to yeast.
This treatment is mostly for adults: This is because, according to Dr.Brown, Sodium Bicarbonate, otherwise known as baking soda might alter a baby’s electrolyte balance, and the possibility of aspirating the solution. Hence, he advised avoiding this remedy for young babies.
Researchers concluded that, although not the most effective form of disinfectant, baking soda was a “viable alternative.”
How to use:
- Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in 1 cup of warm water.
- Swish the rinse throughout your mouth.
- Spit out the rinse.
- Probiotics or yogurt
Probiotic yoghurt contains beneficial bacteria that can help treat oral thrush. Probiotics or yogurt with active bacteria culture may help restore the balance of good bacteria in the mouth. These cultures do not kill candida, rather, it stops it’s growth. Since it’s soft, yogurt is also a great food to eat if you’re having trouble swallowing due to painful mouth and throat lesions.
How to use
- Eat yogurt a couple of times daily at the first sign of oral thrush.
- Choose unsweetened varieties since Candida thrives on sugar.
- If you don’t like yogurt, you can get the same benefits by taking a daily probiotic supplement.
- Apple cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has antifungal properties that fights against candida. It may be another good alternative option for people with denture stomatitis. People with dentures have a higher risk of getting oral thrush. Dentures that don’t fit properly or that aren’t cleaned well provide the ideal environment for Candida to thrive. This may cause a condition similar to thrush called denture stomatitis.
How to use:
- Add 1 teaspoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar to 1 cup of water.
- Swish the rinse throughout your mouth for at least 15 seconds.
- Spit out the mixture.
- Some natural health professionals recommend rinsing with undiluted apple cider vinegar, but this may cause a painful burning sensation in your mouth.
- Lemon Juice
Lemon juice has its antiseptic and antifungal abilities that helps it fight against the fungus that causes thrush.
Research has found lemon juice to be a more effective treatment for oral thrush than gentian violet among people with HIV. Since the study is small, more research is needed.
How to use:
- Add the juice of 1/2 a lemon to 1 cup of warm or cool water.
- Drink the mixture, or use as a mouth rinse.
However, be careful as not to apply lemon juice directly to thrush lesions, as the lemon’s acidity can result in irritation and burning.
- Anti-fungal medications
As much as home remedies may be of help, in some really extreme cases, you’ll need to see the doctor for a course of anti-fungal medications to clear up the thrush in the mouth.
If you’re breastfeeding an infant who has thrush in the mouth, your doctor may prescribe an anti-fungal cream to apply to your breasts to reduce the chance of recurrence.
However, you may need to contact your doctor at the first sign of oral thrush, especially if your immune system is weak.
Also, these natural remedies are not appropriate for children and babies. Talk to your pediatrician before using any of the remedies.