When you get a yeast infection in the mouth, it is called Thrush, characterized by redness and white bumps and can be painful. Newborns, infants, and older adults are most susceptible, but it can occur in anyone at any age. In babies that are healthy yeast infection is not usually a serious issue and can be easily treated and cured naturally.
With a mild case of thrush the only things you may need to do is clean/sterilize baby bottle nipples and pacifiers on a regular basis and give the inside of the mouth a gentle massage with a clean moist cloth.
If breast-feeding, you need to also treat your nipples so that you don’t transfer the yeast infection back and forth between you and your child. There are antifungal medicines available out there, but then your baby gets to eat those chemicals as well, so we prefer the natural approach. You can also apply lanolin to help relieve nipple soreness.
If you wear dentures and develop thrush it is very important to clean your dentures every night and treat your mouth as well, here are the steps you should take:
-Take out the dentures before going to bed.
-Use a clean toothbrush and water to scrub them well.
-Soak them overnight in Chlorhexidine Gluconate, which you can get from a pharmacist. You can also use a denture cleaner (such as Polident or Efferdent) that is sold in most drug or grocery stores.
-If you use the Chlorhexidine Gluconate to clean your dentures, you need to rinse them very well in the morning. Do not use a fluoridated tooth paste for at least 30 minutes as Fluoride has a weakening effect on Chlorhexidine Gluconate.
There is a dye called Gentian Violet (1%). This dye will kill off bacteria and fungi. The draw back is it should only be used one time. If you do not get all the fungus you need to try another remedy. It is available without a prescription, but should only be used on adults. Here are some preventative tips that may help:
-You need to have good oral hygiene habits, like brushing twice a day, flossing once a day and using an antiseptic mouthwash. If this is your second go round with thrush you need to replace your toothbrush.
-Practice good hand washing.
-If you need to take a liquid antibiotic, you need to rinse your mouth within a few minutes of taking it.
-If you have health challenges such as diabetes, HIV, or cancers, you are at increased risk for thrush.
-You need to rinse your mouth with mouthwash after inhaling corticosteroids
-If you are afflicted with AIDS, Listerine may be particularly helpful in preventing thrush.
Here is how to help reduce the risks of spreading thrush to babies:
-During the last 3 months of pregnancy treat vaginal yeast infections. This lessens the chance baby will get thrush during delivery. Treating vaginal yeast also helps prevent thrush spreading during oral sex.
-Wash all nipples and pacifiers daily, if you prepare bottles and nipples ahead of time keep them in the refrigerator to reduce the likelihood of yeast growth.
– Yeast can start to grow on a nipple after an hour, so if baby has drunk from it you should not continue to let baby drink from it.
-Any objects baby puts in her mouth should be run through the dishwasher or boiled for 20 min.
-As soon as your baby has wet his diaper needs to be changed. Warm moist areas are the perfect environment for yeast that causes thrush to grow.
-If possible, breast-feeding your baby is the best thing you can do for your baby’s health. There are antibodies contained in breast milk that will aid your baby’s immune system so that they can resist infections on their own.
-If you are breast-feeding and you developed sore and red nipples or have pain while nursing it is possible that your baby has passed a thrush infection to you.
If your baby has an infection somewhere else and needs antibiotics after each dose you need to rinse their mouth out with water. Taking oral antibiotics can cause disruption of the balance of bacteria in the mouth which can allow yeast overgrowth that causes thrush. Simple water rinse can go a long way to help prevent oral antibiotics from disrupting the mouth environment.
If you have to give baby medicine by dropper, try to avoid putting the dropper in his mouth. You can put the medicine onto a cotton swab and then on the affected area. Then throw out the swab.
Do not put anything back in the bottle of medicine to avoid cross contamination with yeast.
There are things you can do to reduce discomfort such as drinking cold drinks (avoid really sugary drinks), try water or iced teas.
Also flavored ice treats or frozen juice as well as gelatin, ice cream and custard that are easy to swallow. If it causes pain to swallow, try gently sucking through a straw. A warm salt water rinse several times a day can also make you feel better. (1 tsp-5ml, of salt in 8 oz- 240 ml. of warm water).
If you want the best information for how to deal with Oral Thrush that will help get that gross white film off your tongue check out cures for yeast infection.