Oral thrush is a viral infection caused by an imbalance of microorganisms in the mouth, resulting in an overgrowth of the Candida albicans fungus, which can cause lesions to form that are commonly accompanied by pain, discomfort and sometimes bleeding. Antibiotics and corticosteroids are both culprits in the development of this condition, but you also might suffer from this viral infection when your natural immune response is weakened in some way, such as with cancer, AIDS or even diabetes. However, if you develop oral thrush, there are steps you can take to bring about relief from this condition.
One of the easiest methods of treating oral thrush in adults is through two simple self-care measures. The first is a product that you already may have in your home. Yoghurt, specifically, any unsweetened variety, can help restore the balance of bacteria in your mouth, so start eating a serving of yoghurt each day. By incorporating unsweetened yoghurt into your diet, the bacteria that normally keeps the Candida albicans fungus at bay is essentially returned to its normal level and thereby is able to reduce the infecting fungus. Over time, you'll find relief from the oral thrush.
You also might want to consider picking up a dietary supplement known as acidophilus. Health-food stores, drugstores and even some "big box" chains stock this natural probiotic, so invest in a bottle as soon as you notice symptoms of this viral infection. Acidophilus works a lot like yoghurt, in that it balances the bacterial structure of your mouth, reducing the prevalence of Candida albicans fungus and relieving a case of oral thrush. Since acidophilus comes in varying concentrations, follow the recommended dose on the packaging to ensure proper treatment.
As you allow either of these self-care measures to work, try swishing with a saline or saltwater solution. While this won't necessarily cure the condition, it can help relieve some of the pain you may be experiencing. Start off with a cup of warm water and then mix in a 1/2 tsp of salt. Swish the mixture in your mouth for 30 to 60 seconds and spit. That's all it takes to bring about relief from the associated pain.
Some cases of oral thrush won't respond as well to self-care measures, and you may need to talk to your doctor about a prescription medication to relieve your viral infection. In this situation, an antifungal drug usually is prescribed. It should be taken each day until the prescription runs out, following up with your doctor so he may monitor your condition.