Yeast infection in mouth
Yeast infection in mouth is the most common oral fungal infection of the mouth caused by the overgrowth of a yeast-like fungi called candida albicans. It often affects the tongue, the roof of the mouth (palate), the insides of the cheeks, throat, gums or tonsils (1, 2 ,3).
The most common symptom of yeast infection in the mouth is known as the thrush mouth: a yellow or white coated tongue. The coating can spread to other areas of the mouth and cause pain, redness, soreness, bumps, bleeding, difficulty swallowing and many other discomforts.
Yeast infection in mouth is also known as: thrush mouth, oral thrush, oral candidiasis and oropharyngeal candidiasis.
Yeast infection in mouth – Main Topics
Yeast infection in mouth Symptoms
Yeast infection in mouth symptoms can be easily seen in a physical exam of the mouth, especially (4):
- White coating that covers the tongue and other areas in the mouth, sometimes throat.
- Scraping the coating usually reveal inflamed red spots that often bleed.
- Cottony feeling in the mouth.
Besides the coated tongue, additional symptoms of yeast infection in mouth may include:
- White coating and red inflamed areas in the mouth and throat region.
- Impaired sense of taste.
- White spots inside the mouth and on the tongue.
- White bumps on the tongue, slight bleeding when bumps are scraped.
- Burning sensation on the tongue.
- Cracked tongue.
- Sore throat, redness, burning, soreness.
- Difficulty swallowing, in severe cases difficulty eating or speaking.
- Dry mouth, especially in the morning.
- Bleeding gums.
- Canker sores (Aphthous ulcer).
- Dry lips, chapped lips (especially the lower lip).
- Taste changes, metallic taste in mouth (Parageusia).
- Teeth grinding (long term this leads to teeth that are flattened or fractured).
- Bad breath (Halitosis).
Yeast infection in mouth causes
|Yeast Infection Symptoms||Possible Cause||Treatment|
|Mouth area only.||Local issue in the mouth.||Local diagnosis.
|Mouth & other symptoms in the body.||Systemic candida overgrowth in the body.||Systemic candida treatment.
Antifungal creams (relief).
As you can see from the above table, yeast infection in mouth can be caused by either:
- Systemic candida overgrowth in the body. Most common cause.
The most common cause of oral thrush is a systemic candida overgrowth in the body. In this case, there are usually multiple yeast infection symptoms present in the body in addition to the yeast infection in the mouth.
- Local issue in the mouth.
In these cases, there is an isolated issue in the mouth area that caused an imbalance in the environment of the mouth which enabled candida to overgrow. No other yeast infection symptoms are present in other areas of the body.
Yeast in mouth
Identifying the exact cause of the yeast in mouth is the most important part of the treatment, as the needed treatment can be completely different. One of the most common mistakes in treating oral yeast infections, is to treat the symptoms in the mouth when the cause of the yeast infection in the mouth is a systemic candida yeast problem in the body. In most of these cases, the symptoms in the mouth are keeping coming back and become worse, as the untreated yeast and candida infection in the body spreads and continue to grow.
Yeast infection in mouth caused by candida overgrowth
The most common cause of yeast infection in the mouth is a systemic candida overgrowth in the body.
In this case, there are usually additional signs of the yeast infection in the body in addition to the yeast infection in the mouth. In other words, the yeast infection in the mouth is one symptom of a larger problem of yeast overgrowth in the body. This is very common.
Common candida overgrowth symptoms may include external signs causing infections of the skin, toenails, feet, mouth, tongue and genitals, as well as internal symptoms causing digestive issues, mood swings, brain fog, muscle and joint pain and breathing or sinus infections.
To see if your symptoms and medical history may be related to candida overgrowth infection in your body, see:
candida overgrowth test.
Candida yeast is normally found in small amounts in the digestive system, mouth, vagina, skin and other parts of the body (5). In a healthy state, the growth of candida is being controlled by the good bacteria in the body.
Candida overgrowth occurs when the balance between candida yeast and the good bacteria is being disturbed. Candida is well known in the medical literature as an opportunistic organism (6) that takes advantage in such situations where the body’s ability to naturally prevent the yeast from overgrowing is impaired.
Candida changes into a more aggressive fungal form that spreads and releases over 80 different toxins. These toxins can get anywhere in the body, suppress the immune system and cause a wide variety of health issues all over the body. Most candida overgrowth and yeast infections are caused by a strand of yeast called Candida Albicans.
Risk Factors and Causes
Most cases of systemic candida overgrowth are caused by common risk factors. These risks are well documented in the medical literature, with the possible connection to the yeast infection in the mouth suggested by many studies.
These common risk factors and causes may include (7, 8, 9):
- Newborns babies, especially less than 1 month old.
- Antibiotics or corticosteroids.
- Birth control pill.
- A weakened immune system and immunosuppressive conditions.
- High carbohydrate diet.
- Hormonal disorders.
- High ongoing stress levels and related conditions such as Cushing’s syndrome.
- Malnutrition, nutritional deficiencies.
The bottom line: if any of these causes and risk factors apply to you and you have multiple yeast infection symptoms, the yeast in mouth may be caused by a systemic candida overgrowth in your body. This needs to be considered during the treatment, which is covered in the treatment section.
Yeast infection in mouth caused by local issue in the mouth
Sometimes, the yeast infection in the mouth is caused by a local issue in the mouth. This is usually caused by an underlying condition that created an imbalance in the environment of the mouth, which enabled the candida yeast to grow. In these cases, no other yeast infection symptoms are present in other areas of the body.
These scenarios are also well documented in the medical literature. Common risk factors may include:
- People who wear dentures (10).
- Impaired salivary gland function, also known as Xerostomia (11).
- Medications that cause dry mouth or medical conditions that cause dry mouth (12).
- Smoking (13).
- Poor oral hygiene (14).
- Mercury amalgam fillings (15).
If any of the following are related to you, we highly suggest that you should consult with your dentist as these may be the cause of your yeast in mouth issues:
- Denture stomatitis is yeast infection in the mouth that is very common in people who wear dentures, and is usually developed beneath the denture. The research suggests that the plaque accumulated on the denture or poor oral hygiene can contribute to the overgrowth of candida in the mouth. For this reason, keeping a correct oral hygiene is very important both in terms of treatment and prevention of oral yeast infections (16).
- Smoking has been suggested by many studies as a risk factor for yeast infection in mouth (17). The exact reason why smoking can lead to candida overgrowth in the mouth hasn’t proved by science though. The general explanation is that smoking can alter the natural environment in the mouth which in some cases may lead to the overgrowth of candida in the mouth (18, 19).
- Mercury Fillings – according to research, oral candida was more present among people with mercury amalgam fillings (14). If you have mercury fillings, here is another thing to consider. Mercury is a toxic heavy metal which is capable of inducing a wide range of health issues (20). Research data suggests that replacement of amalgam fillings was associated with reductions in health complaints (21). Something you may want to discuss with your dentist if you have additional health concerns.
To learn more about heavy metal toxicity and candida, see: heavy metal toxicity and candida.
Yeast infection in mouth treatment
Yeast infection in mouth treatment depends on what is the cause of the infection.
For this reason, the first step of the treatment, is identifying the cause of the yeast infection in mouth (22).
Often overlooked, this is a critical part of the treatment since the needed treatment can be completely different.
Local treatment of yeast infection in mouth
When thrush mouth is caused by local issue in mouth
When the yeast infection in the mouth is caused by a local issue in the mouth, the treatment is directly related to the source of the problem. In some cases, once the root cause is identified and treated, the infection in the mouth gets better without any additional steps needed.
In other cases, the following steps in the treatment usually include:
- Good oral hygiene (sometimes this is the root cause of the yeast infection in the mouth).
- Topical antifungals creams to control the infection or for discomfort relief.
- In cases of more severe or long lasting oral infections, systemic oral support is used, in a form of oral antifungals and probiotics.
Systemic treatment of yeast infection in mouth
When thrush mouth is caused by candida overgrowth in the body
When the yeast infection in the mouth is caused by a systemic candida overgrowth in the body, the treatment focus is on helping the body to naturally balance the systemic overgrowth overgrowth. A critical point in the treatment is to identify the root cause of the systemic overgrowth. There are many different issues that can cause candida overgrowth, and as such the needed treatment can be completely different.
For a complete list of candida overgrowth causes, see candida overgrowth causes.
The candida overgrowth treatment plan is designed to create a natural environment in the body where candida can’t overgrow while optimizing the body’s ability to repair the damage caused by the overgrowth:
STEP 1 Candida Diet
STEP 2 Anti Candida Supplements
STEP 3 Remedies for Quick Relief