MEDICALLY REVIEWED

Thrush: The Widespread Condition Often Hushed Up

thrush ulcer

Thrush, medically known as Candidiasis, is a common infection caused by the overgrowth of a yeast-like fungus called Candida. 

This fungus that causes thrush is naturally present on our skin, mouth, and digestive system but can cause trouble when it grows uncontrolled.

Common Types of Thrush

There are two primary types of thrush that most people are familiar with – oral thrush and vaginal thrush. Oral thrush appears as creamy white lesions on the tongue or inner cheeks. Vaginal thrush, often referred to as a yeast infection, causes itching, soreness, and a thick, white discharge.

Who Can Get Thrush?

Contrary to popular belief, anyone can get thrush. It is more common in infants, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with a weakened immune system. However, it can also affect healthy adults.

Symptoms to Watch Out For

Oral thrush often causes a loss of taste or an unpleasant taste in the mouth, redness inside the mouth and throat, and cracks at the corners of the mouth. Vaginal thrush symptoms include itching and soreness around the entrance of the vagina and a stinging sensation during sex or urination.

The Causes of Thrush

Thrush occurs when the body’s natural balance of microorganisms is disrupted. This can be due to a range of factors, such as illness, pregnancy, medications like antibiotics, and lifestyle factors like poor oral hygiene or wearing tight, non-breathable clothing.

Treatment Options

Thankfully, thrush is usually easy to treat. Antifungal medications, which can be taken orally or applied directly to the affected area, are the primary treatment. In more severe cases or for people with weakened immune systems, stronger prescription drugs may be required.

Are Thrush & Ulcers the Same

No, they are not the same. Both are conditions that can affect the mouth, but they have different causes and characteristics.

Thrush is a fungal infection caused by an overgrowth of Candida yeast. It often appears as creamy white patches on the tongue, inner cheeks, and sometimes the roof of the mouth, throat, and tonsils.

On the other hand, ulcers, specifically mouth ulcers, also known as canker sores, are small, painful lesions that develop in the mouth or at the base of the gums. They’re not caused by a fungal infection but can be triggered by various factors including stress, tissue injury, certain foods, or underlying health conditions.

Prevention is Key

Prevention involves maintaining a healthy lifestyle and good hygiene practices. This includes eating a balanced diet, avoiding mouthwashes or sprays unless prescribed by a doctor, and changing out of wet clothes, like swimwear, as soon as possible.

More Common Than You Think

While thrush might be an uncomfortable topic for some, it’s essential to talk about it. It’s a common condition that many people experience at least once in their lifetime. With the right knowledge, treatment, and preventive measures, it can be effectively managed.

 

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