How to Treat Oral Thrush in Adults

By Megan Smith

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.

doctor examining with a woman with a tongue depressor

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.

Brushing teeth

Brush your teeth. If you are not already practicing good oral hygiene, brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing every day are necessary and may cure your thrush. Brush your teeth for at least two minutes, two times a day.

Eating yogurt and berries

Eat unsweetened yogurt. Plain yogurt contains active cultures that restore a healthy pH balance and normal bacterial growth in the mouth. Although plain yogurt does not cure oral thrush in adults, it may provide your body with enough good bacteria to kill the infection and is a good start in thrush treatments.

Acidophilus is a powder that usually comes in caplet form

Taking 2 billion CFU of acidophilus per day is a good thrush treatment. Acidophilus is a powder that usually comes in caplet form, available at your local health food store or vitamin shop. Acidophilus contains active cultures similar to the cultures in yogurt, so it works in the same way to provide your body with normal bacteria to stave off oral thrush in adults.

Doctor explaining prescription to patient

Take an antifungal medication prescribed by your doctor. If you are not experiencing results from steps 1 through 3, go to your doctor, who will prescribe you with an antifungal medication, such as Sporanox. Sporanox is a caplet, but your prescription medication may also be in the form of a chewable tablet or a mouthwash that you rinse with and then spit out.

Take your prescription until it is completely gone. Do not stop taking the medication your doctor has prescribed, even if you are completely free of symptoms. Continue taking your dose until you finish the medication.

Tip

Do not panic if your child has developed oral thrush--it is fairly common in babies and young children.

Warning

Oral antifungal medications may cause liver damage, so you will most likely be tested for liver disorders before being prescribed any such medications by your doctor.

References

About the Author

This article was written by the Healthfully team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about Healthfully, contact us here.

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