Have you ever woken up to find a white, sticky film in your mouth? It may cover your tongue, the inside of your cheeks, and even the roof of your mouth. It is often accompanied by an unpleasant taste and bad breath. You could even notice that spicy foods are extra-uncomfortable to eat.. What is causing this problem, and how can you put a stop to it? Let’s discuss the answers to these important questions.
A White Film Is Usually Oral Thrush
A white film in the mouth is usually a fungal infection known as oral thrush. It is caused by candida yeast, which occurs naturally in the human body. Usually, other elements of your body’s microbiome keep the yeast under control so it doesn’t cause any unpleasant symptoms. In some circumstances, however, it can grow out of control and lead to a white film in the mouth, a disgusting taste, and other symptoms.
Often, the yeast grows due to a change in the immune system, whether because of illness, lifestyle factors, or hormonal fluctuations.
Some factors that can contribute to the development of oral thrush include:
- Missteps in oral hygiene
- A chronically dry mouth
How to Manage Oral Thrush
In most cases, oral thrush can be prevented via thorough oral hygiene. You should brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day. Additionally, be sure to clean your tongue, either by brushing it gently or using a tongue scraper. Regularly using a mouthwash could also be helpful. However, be cautious if you choose to use antibacterial products; chronic overuse could upset your mouth’s natural microbiome and contribute to problems.
If oral thrush develops, talk to your dentist about your concerns. In addition to thoroughly cleaning your mouth, they can provide personalized tips for at-home care. They can also prescribe an antifungal medication to help get the candida yeast under control.
With treatment, oral thrush usually disappears within two weeks or so. Without treatment, it may be eight weeks or longer before the infection clears up.
Keep an Eye on Your Overall Health
Systemic health factors often play a role in the development of oral thrush, so it is important to work with your primary care practitioner to manage your overall wellness. For example, if you have diabetes, you may need to adjust your diet. If you have been diagnosed with cancer or HIV, you should integrate oral care into your overall treatment plan.
Oral thrush can be an unpleasant and embarrassing condition. Thankfully, there are some simple ways to prevent and manage it. Hopefully, your smile will once again be feeling fresh and clean in no time!
Meet the Practice
Dr. Erick Anderson is a general dentist who has been serving Colorado Springs for around 20 years. He enjoys helping members of the community to improve their oral health and achieve confident, clean smiles. If you are concerned about oral thrush or any other oral condition, he and our team would be pleased to serve you. Contact us at 719-593-0988.