John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.
In this Article
- Thrush facts
- What is thrush?
- What causes thrush?
- What are risk factors for thrush?
- What are thrush symptoms and signs?
- How is thrush diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for thrush?
- Are there home remedies for thrush?
- What is the prognosis of thrush?
- Can thrush be prevented?
What is the treatment for thrush?
Treatment of thrush depends on the cause and severity of the infection.
If the thrush is caused by something that is reversible, such as taking antibiotics, smoking, ill-fitting dentures, or poorly controlled diabetes, these factors must be corrected as part of the treatment.
Infants and children with thrush often do not require treatment. In cases that last more than a few weeks, your child's pediatrician may prescribe an antifungal nystatin (Mycostatin, Nilstat, Nystex) drops.
If an adult patient is diagnosed with a mild case of thrush, the doctor may prescribe an antifungal mouthwash (nystatin) or lozenges (clotrimazole [Mycelex]) for short-term use.
For more severe cases of thrush or if you have other reasons for a weakened immune system, you may need stronger systemic medications, such as fluconazole (Diflucan) or itraconazole (Sporanox). For severe or resistant thrush, amphotericin B may be prescribed.
Are there home remedies for thrush?
Home remedies for thrush are aimed at decreasing risk factors for thrush as well as preventing overgrowth of the normally found Candida yeast.
- Brush your teeth with a soft toothbrush.
- Rinse your mouth with a diluted 3% hydrogen peroxide solution.
- Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater.
- Avoid mouthwash as it can alter the normal flora of your mouth.
- Keep your dentures clean and see a dentist if they do not fit correctly.
- Eat unsweetened yogurt if you are taking antibiotics.
- Lactobacillus acidophilus supplements may help maintain a healthy balance of Candida.
Home remedies that can reduce the discomfort of thrush are:
- Drink cold liquids, or eat frozen or ice treats.
- Eat soft, easy to swallow foods.
- Drink from a straw if the patches are painful.
Gentian violet (1%) is a natural treatment that sometimes works as treatment for thrush. It is a dye that kills bacteria and fungi, and it is available without a prescription. Talk to your doctor before using gentian violet. Grapefruit seed extract is sometimes used by nursing mothers who have developed thrush of the nipples. It can be applied topically (on the skin) or taken orally. Consult your doctor before using this or any supplement.
Viewers share their comments
WebMD Oral Health
Get tips for a healthy mouth.