Home Remedies for Oral Thrush for Adults
Oral thrush, caused by an overgrowth of the yeast Candida, is a common fungal infection that can affect adults. If you’re experiencing symptoms such as white patches, soreness, or pain in your mouth and throat, there are several effective home remedies you can try. These remedies, including rinsing with salt water or apple cider vinegar, consuming probiotics, and maintaining good oral hygiene, may help manage the pain and combat the Candida yeast responsible for the infection. However, it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider before attempting these remedies to ensure they are suitable for your condition. In this article, we will explore seven home remedies for oral thrush that can provide relief and support the healing process. Let’s dive in and discover natural solutions to alleviate the discomfort of oral thrush.
What is Oral Thrush?
Oral thrush, also known as oral candidiasis, is a condition caused by an overgrowth of the fungus Candida albicans in the mouth. While Candida is normally present in the oral cavity, certain factors can lead to an imbalance and the onset of symptoms.
Causes of Oral Thrush
Oral thrush can occur due to various reasons, including:
- Weakened Immune System: People with weakened immune systems, such as infants, older adults, or individuals with HIV/AIDS, are more susceptible to developing oral thrush.
- Medications: Certain medications, such as antibiotics, corticosteroids, or immunosuppressive drugs, can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria and fungi in the mouth, increasing the risk of oral thrush.
- Medical Conditions: Certain health conditions that affect the immune system, like diabetes or autoimmune disorders, can contribute to the development of oral thrush.
- Dentures: Ill-fitting dentures or poor oral hygiene practices related to denture use can create an environment conducive to the growth of Candida, leading to oral thrush.
Common Symptoms of Oral Thrush
The symptoms of oral thrush can vary depending on the individual and the severity of the infection. Common signs and symptoms include:
- White Lesions: Creamy white lesions on the tongue, inner cheeks, roof of the mouth, gums, or tonsils are characteristic of oral thrush. These lesions may have a cottage cheese-like appearance and can be slightly raised.
- Discomfort and Pain: Redness, burning, soreness, or a cottony feeling in the mouth may accompany oral thrush. In severe cases, the discomfort can make eating or swallowing difficult.
- Bleeding and Cracking: Lesions that are rubbed or scraped can result in slight bleeding. Additionally, cracking and redness may be observed at the corners of the mouth.
- Altered Taste: Some individuals with oral thrush may experience a loss of taste or an unpleasant taste in their mouth.
- Denture Discomfort: Denture wearers may experience redness, irritation, and pain under their dentures due to oral thrush.
It’s important to note that infants and breastfeeding mothers can also be affected by oral thrush, presenting additional symptoms such as feeding difficulties, fussiness, nipple redness and sensitivity, and breast pain.
If you or your child develop white lesions inside the mouth or experience any of the mentioned symptoms, it is advisable to consult a doctor or dentist for proper diagnosis and treatment.
From above of photos with coast and brick house in snow placed on wooden table (Photo by Erik Mclean)
Home Remedies for Oral Thrush
Good Oral Hygiene
Practicing good oral hygiene is essential for preventing and treating oral thrush. Here are some key points to keep in mind:
- Toothbrush: Opt for a soft-bristle toothbrush and replace it more frequently if you’re prone to oral thrush.
- Flossing: Regularly flossing helps remove plaque and prevent infections.
- Antiseptic mouthwash: Rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash regularly.
- Dentist appointments: Don’t skip dental check-ups as they can detect and prevent oral health problems.
Wearing dentures can increase the risk of developing oral thrush. Ensure proper denture care by:
- Cleaning dentures regularly with a toothbrush and cleaning solution.
- Seeking professional help if dentures don’t fit well or cause discomfort.
Woman Brushing Teeth (Photo by Miriam Alonso)
Salt Water Rinse
Research has shown that rinsing your mouth with a salt water solution can help alleviate symptoms and promote healing in cases of oral thrush. Salt has antimicrobial properties that can combat the yeast responsible for the infection.
To prepare a salt water rinse:
- Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water.
- Swish the solution in your mouth for 30 seconds, then spit it out.
- Repeat this process several times a day, especially after meals.
Remember to avoid swallowing the salt water mixture.
Pouring of White Sugar from Spoon in a Clear Drinking Glass with Water (Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya)
Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse
Apple cider vinegar has natural antifungal properties that can help fight against the Candida yeast responsible for oral thrush. It also helps restore the pH balance in the mouth, creating an unfavorable environment for the yeast to thrive.
To use apple cider vinegar as a rinse:
- Mix 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with 8 ounces of warm water.
- Gargle and swish the solution in your mouth for 30 seconds.
- Spit out the mixture and rinse your mouth with water.
- Repeat this process 2-3 times a day.
Note: Apple cider vinegar is highly acidic, so it’s important to dilute it before use and rinse your mouth with plain water afterward to prevent any potential damage to tooth enamel.
Candles with fresh apples placed on table (Photo by Rachel Claire)
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help restore the natural balance of microorganisms in the mouth and inhibit the overgrowth of Candida. Consuming probiotic-rich foods or taking probiotic supplements may aid in the treatment of oral thrush.
Probiotic foods to consider include:
- Yogurt (unsweetened and unflavored)
Consult a healthcare professional or dietitian to determine the most appropriate probiotic option for you.
Bowls filled with sweet desserts on table (Photo by Olga Lioncat)
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has antifungal properties that can help combat the Candida yeast responsible for oral thrush. It is important to dilute tea tree oil before use as it can be irritating to the skin and mucous membranes.
To make a tea tree oil rinse:
- Dilute a few drops of tea tree oil in a tablespoon of water or a carrier oil like coconut oil.
- Swish the diluted solution in your mouth for 30 seconds, then spit it out.
- Rinse your mouth with water.
- Repeat this process once or twice daily.
Caution: Tea tree oil should not be ingested, and it may cause allergies or skin irritation in some individuals. It’s best to do a patch test before using it as a rinse.
Top view of empty brown bottle for skin care product placed on wooden plate with fresh pink rose petals on white background isolated (Photo by Karolina Grabowska)
Yogurt contains live cultures of beneficial bacteria, including Lactobacillus acidophilus, which can help restore the balance of microorganisms in the mouth and combat oral thrush. Look for unsweetened and unflavored yogurt with active cultures to obtain the best results.
To use yogurt for oral thrush:
- Take a small amount of yogurt and apply it directly to the affected areas in your mouth.
- Leave it on for a few minutes, then rinse your mouth with water.
- Repeat this process 2-3 times a day.
From above of delicious homemade yogurt in white ceramic mug decorated with assorted berries and served on pink table with wooden spoon (Photo by Any Lane)
Remember, it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider before trying any home remedies to ensure they are suitable for your specific condition. These remedies can be used in conjunction with medical treatments but should not replace prescribed medications or professional advice.
Stay tuned for the next sections of this article to explore more about oral thrush remedies and prevention strategies.
In conclusion, oral thrush can be a painful and uncomfortable condition caused by the overgrowth of the Candida yeast. While prescription treatments are available, there are several home remedies that may help manage the symptoms and even eliminate the yeast. Practicing good oral hygiene, such as using a soft-bristle toothbrush, flossing, and rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash, can help prevent and treat thrush. Additionally, cleaning dentures regularly and ensuring a proper fit can reduce the risk of thrush for denture wearers. Trying simple remedies like salt water rinses, apple cider vinegar, and consuming probiotics may also provide relief. However, it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider before trying any home remedies to ensure appropriate treatment is provided. By incorporating these home remedies into your oral care routine, you can take proactive steps towards managing and preventing oral thrush.