Home Remedies for Oral Thrush for Adults
Are you suffering from the uncomfortable symptoms of oral thrush? White patches on the inner cheeks, tongue, and throat, along with redness, soreness, and pain while eating or swallowing can make daily life difficult. But don’t worry, there are effective home remedies that can help alleviate these symptoms and combat the underlying cause of oral thrush.
Oral hygiene plays a crucial role in preventing and treating thrush. Choosing a soft-bristle toothbrush and changing it frequently, flossing to remove plaque, using antiseptic mouthwash, and not skipping dentist appointments can significantly improve your oral health.
If you wear dentures, it’s important to clean them regularly with a toothbrush and a cleaning solution. Ill-fitting dentures can increase the risk of oral thrush, so make sure to consult your oral healthcare practitioner if you notice any issues.
One powerful and easily accessible remedy is salt water. Research has shown that rinsing your mouth with salt water can promote healing and soothe discomfort associated with oral thrush.
By incorporating these simple and effective home remedies into your daily routine, you can manage the pain and discomfort of oral thrush and support the elimination of the Candida yeast responsible for the infection.
Remember, it’s always recommended to consult with your healthcare provider before trying any home remedies to ensure that a prescription treatment is not necessary. Don’t let oral thrush hold you back from enjoying a healthy and comfortable life. Take action and try these natural remedies today.
What is Oral Thrush?
Oral thrush, also known as oral candidiasis, is a condition that occurs when the fungus Candida albicans accumulates on the lining of the mouth. Candida is a normal organism in the mouth, but when it overgrows, it can lead to symptoms and discomfort.
Causes of Oral Thrush
Oral thrush can be caused by various factors, including:
- Reduced immunity: Individuals with weakened immune systems, such as babies, older adults, or those with suppressed immune systems, are more susceptible to developing oral thrush.
- Certain health conditions: Individuals with certain health conditions, such as diabetes, HIV/AIDS, or cancer, have a higher risk of developing oral thrush.
- Medications: The use of certain medications, such as antibiotics, corticosteroids, or immunosuppressants, can disrupt the natural balance of microorganisms in the mouth and contribute to the development of oral thrush.
Common Symptoms of Oral Thrush
The symptoms of oral thrush may vary depending on the age of the individual and the severity of the infection. Here are some common symptoms:
- Creamy white lesions: These lesions typically appear on the tongue, inner cheeks, and sometimes on the roof of the mouth, gums, or tonsils. They have a cottage cheese-like appearance.
- Redness, burning, or soreness: The affected areas may be red, and individuals may experience a burning or sore sensation. This discomfort can make eating or swallowing difficult.
- Cracking and redness at the corners of the mouth: In some cases, oral thrush can lead to cracking and redness at the corners of the mouth.
- Cottony feeling in the mouth: People with oral thrush may experience a cottony or fuzzy feeling in their mouth.
- Loss of taste: Oral thrush can affect the sense of taste, causing a loss of taste or changes in taste perception.
- Other symptoms: In severe cases, especially in individuals with weakened immune systems, oral thrush can spread to the esophagus, causing difficulty swallowing, pain, or the sensation of food getting stuck in the throat.
It’s important to note that infants can also develop oral thrush, and their symptoms may include feeding difficulties, irritability, and white mouth lesions. Breastfeeding mothers may experience symptoms such as red or itchy nipples and pain during nursing.
If you or your child experience white lesions or other symptoms inside the mouth, it is recommended to see a doctor or dentist for further evaluation. They can determine the underlying cause and provide appropriate treatment.
From above of crop faceless orthodontist in latex gloves and tweezers working at medical table with cast jaw and set of syringes near periodontal scalers (Photo by Cedric Fauntleroy)
Home Remedies for Oral Thrush
Oral thrush is a common fungal infection caused by an overgrowth of a yeast called Candida. While medical treatments are available, there are also several effective home remedies that can help manage the symptoms of oral thrush. These remedies can provide relief from mouth and throat sores, and even help eliminate the Candida yeast responsible for the infection.
Good Oral Hygiene
Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential in preventing and treating oral thrush. Here are some important practices to keep in mind:
- Toothbrush: Opt for a soft-bristle toothbrush, and if you’re prone to oral thrush, consider changing your toothbrush more frequently than every three months.
- Flossing: Regular flossing helps remove plaque between teeth, reducing the risk of infection.
- Antiseptic Mouthwash: Rinse your mouth regularly with an antiseptic mouthwash to promote oral health.
- Dental Check-ups: Don’t skip your dentist appointments. Regular check-ups can help detect oral health issues early on and prevent them from worsening.
If you wear dentures, make sure to maintain their cleanliness by regularly cleaning them with a toothbrush and cleaning solution. Ill-fitting dentures can contribute to the development of oral thrush, so seek professional help if you experience any discomfort or notice rough surfaces on your dentures.
Salt Water Rinse
Salt water rinses have been found to be effective in promoting oral healing and soothing discomfort. To alleviate oral thrush symptoms, you can prepare a salt water rinse using easily accessible ingredients from your pantry. Here’s how to do it:
- Dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water.
- Gently swish the solution in your mouth for about 30 seconds.
- Spit out the mixture and rinse your mouth with plain water.
Repeat this process several times a day to help alleviate symptoms and promote healing.
Crop anonymous person in warm gray wear applying glue stick on papers and arranging photo album on floor (Photo by George Milton)
Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse
Apple cider vinegar is known for its antifungal properties and may help combat the Candida yeast responsible for oral thrush. Here’s how you can prepare an apple cider vinegar rinse:
- Mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with one cup of warm water.
- Gargle with the mixture for 30 seconds.
- Spit out the solution and rinse your mouth with plain water.
Be cautious while using apple cider vinegar, as it is acidic and may cause a stinging sensation. If the discomfort is too intense, consider diluting the mixture further or stopping its use.
Bollinger Wine Bottle on Boat (Photo by Sebastian Coman Photography)
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help restore balance in the oral microbiome and combat the overgrowth of Candida. Consuming probiotic-rich foods or taking probiotic supplements may aid in managing oral thrush. Some probiotic sources include:
- Yogurt with live active cultures
Incorporating these foods into your diet regularly can potentially help prevent and treat oral thrush.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil possesses antifungal properties and may be beneficial in combating Candida overgrowth. However, it is important to use tea tree oil with caution, as it can be irritating if not properly diluted. Here’s how to use tea tree oil for oral thrush:
- Dilute a few drops of tea tree oil with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or olive oil.
- Apply the diluted mixture to the affected areas using a cotton swab.
- Spit out any excess oil, but do not swallow it.
Remember to consult with a healthcare professional before using tea tree oil, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking medications.
Baking Soda Rinse
Baking soda has natural antifungal properties and can help create an unfavorable environment for the Candida yeast. You can prepare a baking soda rinse to alleviate oral thrush symptoms:
- Mix one teaspoon of baking soda with one cup of warm water.
- Gently swish the mixture in your mouth for about 30 seconds.
- Spit out the solution and rinse your mouth with plain water.
Repeat this process a few times a day to help reduce the symptoms of oral thrush.
Selective Focus Photography of Red Coca-cola Can Lot on Box (Photo by Craig Adderley)
Coconut oil is a versatile natural remedy that may help combat oral thrush due to its antifungal properties. Here’s how you can use coconut oil:
- Take a small amount of coconut oil and let it melt in your mouth.
- Swish the oil around your mouth for about 10 minutes, similar to oil pulling.
- Spit out the oil and rinse your mouth with warm water.
Coconut oil can be used daily to help manage oral thrush symptoms, but consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns.
Remember, while these home remedies can provide relief, it’s essential to consult with your healthcare provider to determine the most suitable treatment plan for your specific condition.
Reproduced with permission from ©DermNet NZ www.dermnetnz.org 2022
In conclusion, home remedies can be a helpful and cost-effective way to manage oral thrush in adults. Simple practices like maintaining good oral hygiene, using saltwater rinses, and consuming probiotics can help alleviate symptoms and even eliminate the overgrowth of Candida, the yeast responsible for thrush. However, it is always important to consult with a healthcare provider before trying any home remedies to ensure that a prescription treatment is not necessary. By incorporating these home remedies into your routine, you can take control of your oral health and find relief from the discomfort of oral thrush.