What is Thrush? and

Causes of Yeast Infection in the Mouth

what is thrush - yeast infection"What is thrush?" is a fairly common question since it affects many people - from a baby or infant to adults. Both males and females are susceptible to thrush.

We will explain what thrush is along with its' causes and who is likely to suffer from a yeast infection in the mouth. Once you know what you are dealing with it is easier to tackle the problem.

(Note: This is Part I of the article, Part II discusses the symptoms and treatment of a yeast infection in the mouth - just click on the link to go to Part II).

What is Thrush?

To Learn What Caused Your Thrush and How to Get Rid of it, Click Here

Simply put, thrush is an oral yeast infection - a yeast infection in the mouth rather than the more common vaginal yeast infection. However, the yeast infection is the same no matter where it occurs.

Thrush is also called an oral yeast infection, candidiasis or oral thrush.

Oral yeast infections can appear in many places such as the inside of the cheeks, on the tongue, on the corners of the mouth and on the throat.

(For a more detailed explanation of yeast infections, see our page that explains yeast infections in general).

What is Thrush?:

Causes of Thrush or Yeast Infections of the Mouth

Like all yeast infections, an oral yeast infection (candidiasis), is caused by an overgrowth of the yeast Candida Albicans. This Candida yeast is found in many parts of the body, including the gut, skin, vagina and eyes. Approximately 50% of people have the yeast present in their mouths.

The presence of Candida Albicans yeast in the mouth does not usually cause any problems. However, sometimes its growth can get out of control, resulting in an oral yeast infection.

Some common causes of this overgrowth can include:

  • Antibiotics – Antibiotic medicines can kill off the healthy bacteria in the mouth, leaving room for the "bad" bacteria such as Candida Albicans to grow.
  • A weakened immune system – If you're run down, stressed or have been ill your body can not fight off the growth of this bad bacteria.
  • Steroid inhalers - Use of these inhalers for conditions like asthma can lead to thrush.
  • Dentures – If they are ill-fitting or are not properly cleaned they provide an environment for the yeast to grow.
  • Using antibacterial mouthwash – If you overuse this type of mouthwash, it can kill the healthy bacteria in the mouth.
  • A dry mouth – Some medication can cause a reduction of the production of saliva in the mouth. People with less saliva are more susceptilbe to having a yeast infection in the mouth.

In essence, pretty much anything that affects the environment inside the mouth has the ability to cause an overgrowth of this Candida yeast.

What is Thrush?

Who Gets Oral Yeast Infections?

Anyone can get an oral yeast infection – men, women, children and babies.

Unfortunatley, baby thrush is fairly common. One way a newborn baby may get thrush is during delivery if the mother had a yeast infection in the vagina. If this is the case, the yeast infection in the mouth of the baby will usually appear within a couple of weeks.

Thus it is important that a pregnant woman tries to cure her vaginal yeast infection prior to delivery.

Sometimes there is an underlying disease or illness that can be responsible for causing the infection or making the mouth more susceptible to it.

Oral yeast infections have been linked to the following illnesses or conditions:

  • Diabetes
  • Respiratory infections
  • Dry Mouth
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Sjogren's Disorder
  • HIV and AIDS
  • Cancer
  • Autoimmune diseases

For Part II of our article, which discusses the Symptoms and Treatment of Thrush, just click on the link.

To Learn What Caused Your Thrush and How to Get Rid of it, Click Here

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