How Do I Treat an Oral Yeast Infection?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

An oral yeast infection is often called a thrush or an oral candida infection. It is a higher than normal proliferation of candida fungus in the mouth, which may be caused by a variety of factors. In order to treat an oral yeast infection, people must first know what one looks like. It often has yellow, grey or white film on the tongue, roof of the mouth and/or tonsils that isn’t easily removed. It can also present as white patches in any part of the mouth.

Apple cider vinegar can help treat a yeast infection.
Apple cider vinegar can help treat a yeast infection.

Since people aren’t always certain they have an oral candida infection, they should see a doctor to get a confirmed diagnosis. Once diagnosis is made, there might be several ways to focus on treatment, and more than one person could require treatment, given some circumstances. For the average child or adult, the treatment may be to use one of a variety of antifungal agents that are placed topically in the mouth to directly attack the extra fungus.

Acidophilus capsules can be taken orally to treat yeast infections.
Acidophilus capsules can be taken orally to treat yeast infections.

Sometimes an oral yeast infection is very resistant, and this could be the case if people have weakened immune systems. Those with HIV, other autoimmune disorders, or who are undergoing chemotherapy may be prone to thrush and it may be more difficult to treat. While topical antifungal agents are the preferred treatment for simple cases, these more complex cases may require stronger medications in pill form. These systemically attack candida fungus and may more successfully resolve resistant infections.

Yeast infections, also known as candida, can be spread through oral sex.
Yeast infections, also known as candida, can be spread through oral sex.

An oral yeast infection can be contagious, and babies who develop thrush may quite innocently and unwittingly pass the condition to the nursing mother. Itching and redness on the nipples, particularly if a baby has thrush, may need to be treated with a topical antifungal agent too. Similarly, any mouth to body contact could transfer a yeast infection. If a person with thrush has recently engaged in oral sex, both partners might need treatment to clear up candida.

Eating yogurt is a natural remedy for treating oral yeast infections.
Eating yogurt is a natural remedy for treating oral yeast infections.

There are many natural approaches to treating an oral yeast infection. One of the time-honored ones suggested is to eat yogurt, which contains live active cultures that may help fight yeasts. Other natural approaches include gargling with garlic solutions or apple cider vinegar.

A baby with thrush may cry excessively.
A baby with thrush may cry excessively.

From a medical standpoint, the trouble with these suggestions is that when they do not work, there is some risk of complications from an oral yeast infection. Sometimes candida can get into the esophagus where it might cause swallowing difficulties. If people want to try these methods and they find that they feel worse, have a fever, or have trouble swallowing, they should really seek medical attention before continuing to self-treat.

Gargling with a garlic solution may help heal an oral yeast infection.
Gargling with a garlic solution may help heal an oral yeast infection.
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments

candyquilt

@fBoyle-- I think the best way to beat a stubborn oral yeast infection is to go on a yeast infection diet. You need to remove yeast containing foods, carbohydrates and sugars from your diet. Eat vegetables, meat, beans, eggs and plain yogurt. Avoid processed foods as much as possible. Avoid raised bread and sweets like the plague. Limit fresh fruit consumption as well because yeast love sugar as much as carbohydrates.

If your symptoms are not going away despite the diet and natural remedies, then you need to see a doctor. Some infections are really very stubborn and will not go away without anti-fungal medications.

burcinc

@fBoyle-- Treating oral thrush with natural remedies is controversial. There are some safe and effective remedies but there are also some odd and dangerous remedies out there.

Some safe remedies include gargling with apple cider vinegar and water, gargling with salt water and consuming herbs and spices with anti-fungal properties. For example, thyme, oregano, turmeric, cinnamon and cloves all have antiseptic and anti-fungal properties. Consuming these in safe quantities, fresh and dried can help the immune system deal with an oral yeast infection.

fBoyle

Are there any other natural oral yeast infection remedies? I'm already eating lots of yogurt and gargling with apple cider vinegar but they don't seem to be helping.

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register: