Oral thrush is a fungal infection of the mouth caused by candida albicans. The main symptoms include white patches on inside of the mouth, inner cheeks, throat, and tongue. Many patients also complain of a deep, nagging pain and aching soreness in the mouth. This unfortunate infection tends to occur more often in infants, the infirm, and those who have had extensive cosmetic dentistry to replace teeth. In the article below, you'll learn several home remedies that can help you prevent or ward off a mild infection if it occurs.
Good Oral Hygiene
Easily the most important preventative step you can take, maintaining a healthy mouth is crucial to preventing thrush. This begins by brushing and flossing at least twice daily. Don't skip the floss, either; food debris can attract bacteria in the nooks and crannies around your teeth, creating the perfect breeding ground for thrush.
Should an infection set in, brushing well will hasten the process of healing by keeping the mouth as sterile as possible.
Be sure to replace any toothbrush used during an active infection as soon as it has resolved, or you may invite the fungus right back in.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Raw vinegar is one of the best oral thrush home remedies and preventative. The reason for this is that it changes the PH level of your mouth, making it less hospitable to the fungus. Unfortunately, anyone who has eaten too many salt and vinegar chips will know exactly why this would be incompatible with a serious thrush infection—it's likely to be very painful to hold the solution in your mouth.
Instead, add a tablespoon of ACV to an 8-oz glass of water. Swish with this milder solution several times, and you'll achieve the same results.
Preventatively, you can mix ACV and ½-teaspoon of honey in a glass of hot water. Drink this like a tea for best results. Because honey has antibacterial and antifungal properties, it will boost the benefits of the ACV.
Best of all, ACV and honey are entirely safe for cosmetic dentistry. They're both all-natural, too!
Medical professionals have known that saline is a miracle substance for many years. It can help to ward off or cure infections, and it has a soothing anesthetic effect on mucosal tissues. If you're treating a mild thrush infection, it will help to reduce your pain and draw the fungus out of the tissue.
To use this remedy, take ½-teaspoon of salt and mix it well with a glass of warm water. About 8 oz is just right for most people.
Next, swish it around your mouth for one to two minutes. You may feel a small amount of mild stinging, but you shouldn't feel any intense burning. After your time is up, spit it out.
You can repeat this many times as is needed throughout the day or night. Use sea salt for best results.
Hydrogen Peroxide Solution
It's not surprising that hydrogen peroxide solution makes this list. After all, doctors and dentists have known that it can kill certain pathogens for over 100 years.
Although peroxide can be useful, you must use it correctly. You can't simply rinse the mouth with straight 3 percent peroxide; this is especially true if you have an active infection. If you do, you risk damaging the remaining healthy tissues, too.
Instead, dilute it as you did with the salt water. Add 2-3 teaspoons of peroxide for every 4-6 oz glass of water. Use this solution to rinse out the mouth before brushing for best results. Never use a strength higher than 3 percent, as anything above this is much too strong for oral use.
If the mixture still stings too much, consider using a toothpaste that contains a small amount of peroxide instead. You can even make your own at home if you feel inclined. Drop a pea-sized amount into 2 oz of water and mix well. Rinse, hold for 10 seconds, and spit.
You don't want to rub this home remedy on your teeth to treat thrush—unless it happens naturally in the course of eating. Probiotic yogurt contains a high amount of live cultures; these contain many of the good bacteria found in your gut.
Because thrush occurs when candida outgrows in spite of the good bacteria that normally keep it in check, the probiotics in yogurt can help your body to better fight off the fungus.
It isn't enough to grab a dessert yogurt, though; you need a plain probiotic for this to work effectively. Avoid yogurts with flavorings, added fruit, or caramel sauce, as these will simply feed the thrush the sugar it needs to multiply.
Plain, unflavored yogurt with at least acidophilus in it is an excellent choice. If you can't tolerate or find this locally, try kefir instead.
In the end, prevention and staying healthy is the best way to deal with thrush before it ever begins. Because thrush tends to occur when the body is run down, it's important that you see your dentist whenever you believe you may be experiencing an infection. This is doubly true if you have cosmetic dentistry, as secondary infections can sometimes occur in and around the gum line. This can cause loose implants and may even degrade the bone itself if left to advance. For questions about this or any other oral health care issue, contact your specialist today.