What Is Oral Thrush?
Oral thrush is a common fungal infection of the mouth that affects many babies, particularly newborns. It is caused by an overgrowth of the fungus Candida Albicans, which is naturally present in the mouth but can overgrow in certain conditions, such as when a baby’s immune system is weak or if the baby has been treated with antibiotics. Oral thrush causes soreness of mouth making it painful for the baby to take feeds.
At Motherhood Chaitanya Hospital, we understand how distressing it can be to see your baby suffer from oral thrush. In this article, we will discuss the causes and symptoms of oral thrush in babies, as well as its treatment with antifungal medication. We hope that this information will help you to recognize the signs of oral thrush in your baby and seek timely treatment to help your baby feel better.
What Causes Oral Thrush in Babies?
Oral thrush is mainly caused by the overgrowth of Candida albicans, a type of fungus. Most babies have Candida naturally in their mouths and intestine, which is considered normal growth. The amount of this fungus in the body is usually controlled by a healthy immune system and some “good” bacteria. However a few conditions lead to loss of this control resulting in overgrowth of the fungus.
Babies are particularly vulnerable to oral thrush because their immune systems are not fully developed, making them more susceptible to infections. In addition, many babies are treated with antibiotics in the first few weeks of life, which can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the body and allow Candida albicans to overgrow.
Other factors that can contribute to the development of oral thrush in babies include:
- Being born prematurely
- Having a weakened immune system due to a medical
- condition, such as severe infections
- Being fed formula instead of breast milk
- Mother having a fungal infection of nipple which gets transferred to baby
- Using pacifiers or bottles that have not been properly cleaned and sterilized
Signs & Symptoms of Oral Thrush in Babies:
The symptoms of oral thrush in babies can vary, but they usually include:
- White or yellow patches on the tongue, gums, inner cheeks, and roof of the mouth
- A slightly raised, red rash that may be itchy or uncomfortable
- Patches that may bleed if they are scraped or rubbed
- Fussiness and irritability, especially during feedings
- Refusal to breastfeed or difficulty feeding due to pain or discomfort
- Few babies may also develop fungal infection of diaper area skin
If you notice any of these symptoms in your baby, it is important to seek medical attention right away. Oral thrush can be uncomfortable and painful for your baby, and if left untreated, it can lead to more serious infections or complications.
Treatment of Oral Thrush in Babies
Oral thrush is usually treated with antifungal medications , which are applied directly to the affected areas in the baby’s mouth using a dropper or swab. Treatment typically lasts for 7-14 days, and it is important to follow the instructions provided by your doctor to ensure that the medication is used correctly. These medications work by killing the Candida fungus and preventing it from growing and spreading.
Preventing the Spread of Oral Thrush in Babies: Tips and Strategies
Can Oral thrush be prevented? Definitely, yes. In addition to antifungal medication, there are some other steps that you can take to help your baby heal better and prevent the spread of the oral thrush infection:
- Practice good hygiene by washing your hands frequently and sterilizing pacifiers, bottles, and any breast pumps or other equipment used for feeding the baby.
- Continue to breastfeed your baby, if possible. Breast milk contains antibodies that can help your baby fight off infections and can also help to prevent the spread of the infection to your nipples.
- If you are using formula, use sterile water to prepare it and sterilize all equipment used for formula preparation.
- If your baby is old enough to eat solid foods, avoid giving them foods that are high in sugar, as this can promote the growth of Candida
Oral thrush in babies can be a distressing experience for both you and your little one. It is important to be aware of the causes and symptoms of oral thrush, so that you can recognize it early and seek prompt medical attention.
If you notice any symptoms of oral thrush in your baby, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with our paediatric team right away. At Motherhood Chaitanya Hospitals, Chandigarh we have a team of experienced paediatricians and specialists who are dedicated to providing the best possible care for your child. Our experts will recommend the best course of treatment to help your little one feel better. We use the latest technology and techniques to ensure that your baby receives the highest quality care, and we are committed to providing compassionate and personalized care to each and every one of our patients.
If you have any concerns about your baby’s health, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to help you every step of the way.
You can comment below or call Motherhood Chaitanya Hospital at 0172-5088088, 01762-509503.
The main cause of oral thrush in children is the overgrowth of yeast (Candida albicans), a type of fungus. Babies naturally have candida in their digestive tracts and mouth. Overgrowth of candida causes oral thrush.
The doctor will advise using candid mouth paint to apply several times on the affected area or ask to include yogurt in your baby’s diet.
Yes, oral thrush is a common fungal or yeast infection in babies.
A baby with oral thrush might have cracked skin in the corners of the mouth or white patches on the lips, tongue, palate, or inside the cheeks that look a little like cottage cheese but can’t be wiped away.
Yes, while numerous babies don't experience pain or discomfort, some may struggle to feed or find it uncomfortable to suck due to soreness in their mouth.
As per the doctor’s advice, you can treat your baby’s oral thrush by adding yogurt to your baby’s diet. Lactobacilli is a good bacteria that also helps to fight fungal infections
Once treatment starts, the oral thrush in babies may last up to 2-3 days. It may take a week to cure completely.
Oral thrush is not a severe problem if treated on time. If not, in rare cases, oral thrush may spread to other body parts and cause more severe infections, especially in babies with weakened immune systems.