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The oral yeast infection, also called oral Candidiasis, is caused by the multiplication of Candida, and in particular, Candida Albicans, a type of fungi that exists naturally in the human digestive system and vaginal tract. An oral yeast infection usually appears when a deficiency in the body’s defense system occurs, be that caused by fatigue, stress, an insufficient intake of necessary nutrients, water or minerals, as a side effect to taking certain types of medication, or as a manifestation of certain illnesses such as diabetes or AIDS.
The symptoms for oral yeast infection can vary according to the type of lesion that appears on the oral surfaces. As such, a thrush can appear on all oral surfaces and presents a white or yellow deposit on the affected area. The deposit has a soft texture, can be easily wiped out, and the tissue beneath often presents redness. Oral yeast infections can also be erythematous. This type of infection is commonly located either on the tongue or the palate and is characterized by the presence of red patches that sometimes tend to peel.
The hyperplasic or chronic oral yeast infection can be differentiated from other types of Candidiasis through the fact that it presents extra tissue formed on the affected areas. Oral yeast infections can also manifest themselves as cracks at the corner of the mouth. These cracks should be distinguished from the regular cracks that can appear at the corner of a person’s mouth due to solar exposure, a vitamin B deficiency, tearing, or the frequent licking of the lips. Aside from the aspect of the lesions, oral yeast infections can lack any other noticeable symptoms, but they are sometimes accompanied by pain or burning sensations.
The causes for oral yeast infections can be related to diseases that affect the immune system or that reduce the flow of saliva in the mouth. A lack of irrigation of the oral cavity creates an environment in which the Candida can grow. Oral yeast infections can also appear secondary to the use of certain medicines, such as broad spectrum antibiotics (they kill all the natural flora of the gastrointestinal tract, leaving way for the Candida to develop) or birth control pills. A diet rich in carbohydrates and an insufficient water intake can also facilitate the multiplication of the Candida. Low iron levels in the blood can be a cause for the appearance of an oral yeast infection, as well as radiation therapy of the head and neck. Oral yeast infections have been known to appear underneath poorly adapted dentures, or in cases of poor hygiene in the use of dentures.
Oral yeast infections can be treated with a series of drugs, the most common being Nystatin, which is virtually side-effect free. Other antifungal drugs can also be used, but caution must be employed because of their potential secondary effects. A series of natural treatments exist, such as grapefruit seed extract or grape seed oil, and it is good to remember that throughout any oral yeast infection treatment, a special diet must be employed in order to aid the curing process. Any diagnosis or treatment plan of an oral yeast infection must be created by a doctor. If you suspect you might have an oral yeast infection, see a doctor immediately.