Oral thrush in babies: Causes, symptoms and treatments

Thrush is a common infection in the mouth of infants. It is caused by a yeast like fungus, Candida albicans. It can be irritating but it is treatable.

It is normal to have yeast organisms on various parts of the body. Normally, they cause no symptoms. However, if there is more than usual, or of the immune system cannot cope with the levels, symptoms may occur.

Yeast, or Candida, can also appear in diaper rashes and rashes in other moist places, such as under the chin. It can affect the nipples of breast-feeding mothers. It can be very irritating but it is treatable.

Newborns can have symptoms of Candida at birth or soon after. Thrush often appears in the mouth in the first few weeks or months of life. If the nipples of a breast-feeding mother are affected, the infection may be passed on to the infant. It is not clear why some infants develop symtoms, while others do not.

Oral thrust is the most common oral fungal infection in infants and children. It is not usually serious, but it can be uncomfortable and it may cause difficulties with feeding. Treatment is available.

Causes

A small amount of the Candida fungus lives in the mouth most of the time. It is usually kept in check by the immune system and other types of germs that also normally live in the mouth.

However, when the immune system is weaker, the fungus can grow, leading to sores and lesions in the mouth and on the tongue.

Oral thrush may occur in babies because their immune systems have not yet matured. They are less able to resist infection.

An oral thrush infection can happen after treatment with antibiotics, because antibiotics reduce the levels of healthy bacteria in the mouth. This allows fungus to proliferate.

Oral thrush: All you need to knowOral thrush: All you need to know
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