All humans have some degree of Candida, but when it appears as creamy, white lesions on your tongue or cheeks, it means your body is not keeping it at bay. Your doctor or dentist—and not your Google search—can accurately diagnose whether you have a serious case of Candida.
In most cases, your dental or medical professional can diagnose you during a basic exam. If there’s any doubt, a sample can be scraped off your tongue or cheek and confirmed under a microscope.
The right treatment will depend on your age and your health.
If an infant and/or the infant’s nursing mother has oral thrush, both mom and child should get treatment since it will just keep getting passed back and forth. In this case, a rather mild antifungal will be prescribed for the baby and a similar cream will be prescribed for the mother to rub on her nipples. Another thing your medical professional will recommend is rinsing any pacifier or bottle with vinegar and water.
In the case of otherwise healthy people of any age, a probiotic approach is recommended. That means yogurt, kefit, kombucha, sauerkraut are the go-to “meds.” If your situation does not improve, you’ll need to get the prescription strength antifungal medicine.
Sometimes the body’s immune system can’t fight off Candida because the body’s immune system is compromised. This is commonly seen in people with immune deficiency disorders, like HIV/AIDS. People battling cancer and undergoing chemotherapy also have weakened immunity and are susceptible to overactive Candida. In these situations, your doctor may need to prescribe an even stronger med called Amphotericin B when the regular antifungal is not doing the trick. You’ll need to have blood taken to keep track of your liver health since these medications can cause liver damage.
Not treating it
Most people want to get rid of oral thrush the moment they see it overtake their mouth. But if you’re thinking it will just go away on its own, think again. The fungus can spread rather quickly into your esophagus. This will result in difficulty swallowing and can lead to further infection in the stomach and intestines.
Naturally, good oral hygiene and regular dental visits are going to be the frontline defense against oral thrush. But even that doesn’t mean a case of Candida can’t get the best of you some time. So, consider adding probiotic foods to your regular diet and if you are on an antibiotic for some other illness or infection, be extra vigilant in replenishing yourself with the good bacteria.
Another homeopathic bit of advice is to add a salt water rinse to your nightly tooth cleaning. About a ½ teaspoon of salt to 1 cup of warm water is all you need. Don’t swallow, but swish the solution around for about a minute and then spit it out.
If you’ve experienced oral thrush before or feel you may be susceptible to it—due to conditions like diabetes or wearing dentures—consider reducing the amount of sugar and yeast in your diet.