Thrush is considered a superficial yeast infection that may involve the tongue, inner cheek, inner lip region, vaginal area or other mucous membranes. It is commonly seen in infants; if it is detected in an adult, this would indicate an underlying medical condition.
The characteristics of thrush include a white coating or white patches on the tongue, mouth, inner cheeks or the back of the throat. The surrounding tissue is often reddened and tender. Thrush can be painful and even lead to bleeding if it is scraped. Cracking at the outer edges of the lips, a dry mouth, an unusual taste in your mouth and bad breath may accompany thrush.
Risk Factors for thrush
- Adults with serious health problems or a weakened immune system
- Heavy smoking as it reduces the body’s ability to fight off infections
- Braces, a retainer or false teeth that irritate the mouth or make it hard to clean
- Dry mouth
- Hormonal changes during pregnancy
- Use of some antibiotics, birth control pills or steroids
- Prolonged exposure to environmental chemicals such as benzene and certain pesticides as
they may weaken the immune system
Being aware of the risk factors can aid in the prevention of further infections. If you plan to treat your infection naturally and at home, try the following natural, easy to make and effective home remedies for thrush.
Natural Home Remedies for Thrush
These are aimed at decreasing risk factors and preventing the progression of the infection as they prevent the overgrowth of Candida yeast which is the most common cause of thrush.
- Drink cold liquids or frozen juices, or eat flavored ice treats.
- Eat foods that are easy to swallow such as ice cream, gelatin or pudding.
- Use a straw for drinking if the patches are painful.
- If you wear dentures, clean your mouth and dentures every night, scrub dentures well with a clean toothbrush and water.
- Remove dentures before going to bed and soak them overnight in chlorhexidine (you can get this from a pharmacist) or an over the counter denture cleaner.
- Rinse dentures well in the morning. If they were soaked in chlorhexidine, refrain from using fluoride toothpaste for at least 30 minutes after putting dentures back in your mouth as fluoride can weaken the effect of chlorhexidine.
- Use a soft toothbrush to brush your teeth at least twice daily.
- Use a diluted 3% hydrogen peroxide solution to rinse the mouth.
- Refrain from using mouthwash as it may alter the normal flora of the mouth.
- If taking antibiotics, add unsweetened yogurt to your diet.
- Use lactobacillus acidophilus supplements as directed as they help maintain a healthy balance of Candida.
- Use a warm saltwater rinse several times a day. To make this, mix 1 tsp. of salt in 8 ounces of warm water.
- Use gentian violet 1% as recommended. This is a dye that kills fungi and bacteria.
- Rinse green tea leaves and boil them with a few grains of salt. Once cooled, use a soft cotton cloth to dip into the tea and wipe on the tongue.
- Put 50g sodium bicarbonate into a cup of boiled water and stir until dissolved. Apply lightly on the affected area of the tongue using a cotton swab. Do this several times a day.
- Add 1 tbsp. of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar into ½ cup of water. Use this as a mouth rinse several times a day. This is one of the most popular home remedies for thrush.
- Use oregano oil, clove oil, tea tree oil and lavender oil as they have anti-infective properties. Add 1 drop of any of these oils to your toothpaste. Brush the tongue lightly; swish the mixture around your mouth, and then rinse.
- Blend cider vinegar, warm water and a pinch of salt together to make an anti-fungal mouthwash. Gargle and swish throughout your mouth every day.
- Use 1 tsp. of coconut oil to swish around the entire mouth area for at least 10-15 minutes every day.
Dietary Modifications for Treating Thrush
Foods has great impact on your daily life, so make dietary changes can aid in healing your thrush. Here are some suggestions for you:
- Candida is a type of yeast that causes thrush and yeast is known to feed on sugar. Restrict your intake of refined sugar, processed sugary foods and alcoholic beverages containing sugar.
- It is also recommended to avoid squash, bread that is made with yeast, mushrooms, fruit that has been dried and trans-fatty acids.
- To aid in the treatment of thrush, some foods should be included into your diet, such as vegetables, whole grains, fish, lean meat, and fresh fruit (in moderation). Using garlic with your dishes is beneficial related to its antifungal properties.
- Incorporating a portion of live natural yogurt everyday helps to strengthen the immune system and increase the amount of good bacteria in your stomach. These bacteria are necessary to kill Candida.
Amazing Treatment of Vaginal Thrush
As stated earlier, thrush can appear in numerous areas of the body. The vagina is susceptible to this infection as pH levels change. The normal pH level for the vagina is between 3.5 and 4.5. This level is acidic which kills infections. You can determine if your pH is too low at home by purchasing a vaginal swab test kit or you may ask your physician to test your pH level.
Common vaginal thrush home remedies include the following:
- For an active infection, apply live yogurt around the external genitalia to help fight the infection and ease any itching. It can also be applied to a tampon and inserted into the vagina.
- Sea sponge tampons can be soaked in vinegar or tea tree oil and inserted into the vagina. Be aware that this treatment may be irritating.
- To increase your pH level, add 2 tbsp. of white vinegar to every pint of your bath water. White vinegar can also be applied to a tampon and inserted into the vagina overnight. This is not recommended if you have sensitive skin. An acceptable substitution to white vinegar is lemon juice.
- To aid in the prevention of vaginal thrush, avoid overuse of cleansing products as they can alter your pH level.
- Bubble bath, scented bath products, shampoo or sprays should not be used near the vagina.
Thrush, no matter the type, is often unpleasant. This guide offers tips for management and treatment. If you are uncertain what your condition is or the home remedies for thrush are ineffective, please seek advice from your physician