Oral thrush in adults, commonly described as a yeast infection in the mouth, is caused by an accumulation of the Candida albicans bacteria. Oral thrush can affect anyone but is most common in young children. People who are taking certain antibiotics, diabetics or individuals with compromised immune systems, such as people with HIV, are also at high risk for getting oral thrush. Although it's possible for oral thrush to be treated at home, it can sometimes be too severe for home treatament and must be treated by a doctor. Symptoms of oral thrush include a white tongue and white patches in the tongue that resemble cottage cheese.
The “human immunodeficiency virus” or HIV which causes AIDS – can damage or destroy cells of the immune system which makes an individual vulnerable to infections which are opportunistic and which the body could typically defend against. Bouts which are repeated can be the initial symptom of an HIV infection. Cancer When the individual is battling cancer, the system of immunity is normally damaged from both the disease as well as from treatments for instances chemotherapy, or radiation, increasing the risk of yeast infections such as oral thrush.
Two broad categories of treatments exist to treat oral thrush -- a traditional medical approach and a homeopathic approach. Traditional medications may either be topically applied (for example, nystatin , 1% gentian violet) or ingested in liquid form (for example, fluconazole [ Diflucan ]). Nystatin is generally applied four times a day for approximately five to seven days. One study (treating HIV/AIDS patients) demonstrated a cure rate of 52% (vs. 87% when employing fluconazole; the immune-compromised status of the study population may have affected outcomes). When treating infants and toddlers, application using a small gauze or Q-tip is more effective than just drinking the preparation. Most pediatricians will elect topical nystatin in lieu of oral medications for ease of administration, reserving the use of fluconazole for treatment failures; 1% gentian violet is rarely used due to the long-lasting bright purple stain it makes in the mouth or on clothing/bed linen.