What causes oral thrush?
Oral thrush is caused by a type of infectious fungus. There are a few kinds out there but the most common one is called candida albicans. This fungus is always present in your mouth; it’s only when it starts to become excessive that it causes any problems. It’s normally kept in check by your body’s immune system, but certain conditions or treatments that lower your immune system, such as AIDS or chemotherapy, can increase your risk of suffering from it. Prolonged use of antibiotics, COPD medications and bad oral hygiene can also increase your risk.
What are the symptoms of oral thrush?
Oral thrush can be identified by a white coating on your lips, tongue or other areas of your mouth. These lesions can be painful, and can occasionally bleed. Loss of taste can also be a warning sign that an infection is starting. You might start to experience quite a nasty taste too. Other symptoms can include cracks at the side of your mouth, or a painful burning sensation that makes eating difficult. If you’re suffering from a less severe infection, then your symptoms might not even be noticeable.
Can oral thrush lead to other problems?
Once your condition is treated, you won’t normally face any further issues. It’s only when oral thrush is left untreated that it can spread and cause a more serious infection. You’re especially at risk of this if you’re undergoing treatment or have a condition that suppresses your immune system. This includes the immunosuppressed.