Oral thrush is a yeast infection that can be caused by a number of things. It’s something that is easy enough to stop with the right medication. But when left untreated, it can have dangerous consequence, leaving your mouth becoming infected quite severely.
Oftentimes, though, many think they have oral thrush, when in reality they just have a white tongue, a tongue that has a buildup of slime, food particles, and other white stuff on top of it. How do you tell these two apart? Are they similar, or are they different? And how do you treat them? What is a white tongue vs oral thrush?
Oral Thrush, also known as Oral Candidiasis, is a yeast infection that typically occurs on the top of your tongue or on the inner part of your cheeks. It comes from a fungus called Candida, which lives in your mouth and usually doesn’t cause any problems.
When this Candida fungus grows and gets out of control is when Oral Thrush occurs. Most often, when someone is unhealthy and sick is when Oral Thrush comes about. While it is not common among older children and adults, it is more often common among young children and older adults.
If left untreated, it can spread to the back of the throat, onto the tonsils, and even all the way back into your esophagus, causing pain and difficulty swallowing.
Most often the case, Oral Thrush is found in children and older people with a weakened immune system. Sometimes, in less likely situations, it can come about by either a disease you might be fighting, like HIV/AIDS, or certain medications that you might be on. It might also come about if you wear dentures or have cancer.
What will Oral Thrush look like?
Most often it will be a creamy white lesions on the top of your tongue and on the inside of your cheeks. It can also have a cottage-cheese look to it, with a raised, red sore underneath it.
With it can also come a loss of taste, and a cottony feeling inside your mouth. Additionally, if rubbed, or pressed too hard, bleeding can occur around those lesions. It is also possible to have some pain in eating and swallowing as well.
Preventing and treating Oral Thrush
The best way to prevent Oral Thrush is to have a healthy immune system. Making sure your get enough sleep and the right food is essential to restoring your immune system to what you want it to be.
With medications and dentures also being the cause of Oral Thrush, you may want to talk to your doctor to see if you can switch medications, or how to best clean your dentures so that Oral Thrush won’t occur.
But what happens if you have it, what then? How do you treat Oral Thrush?
You can treat most yeast infections with just some simple Candida Cleanse, like CandidaFX (click the button above to purchase some). Young children, and infants in particular, can be more tricky to help treat their Oral Thrush, and for best results, one should ask their doctor for the correct procedure/medication to use.
There are natural ways to treat Oral Thrush, if you are in a bind, and can’t wait for something to be shipped to you, or you can’t find anything in a nearby store:
- Use apple cider vinegar, essential oils, and tea tree oil by applying it to the affected areas of your mouth.
- Virgin, pure coconut oil can be applied to the affected areas
- Swabbing Yogurt, with all its beneficial microbes in it, is another solution to try.
- Distilled vinegar and/or diluted baking soda swished around your mouth can also help as well.
Each of these things should work, though it does need to be said that you’ll need to do this daily for a few days to a week or two. Most yeast infections clear up after a week or so, but if it takes more than two weeks, it’s best to see a doctor, in case something worse is going on in your mouth.
While Oral Thrush can cause white tongue, most often, when someone does have a white tongue, they have just that, a white tongue!
Usually, nothing is wrong with a white tongue. It just means that you need to brush it more often, and have better oral hygiene than you currently do.
White tongue can occur due to a number of reasons. If you are dehydrated, and have a dry mouth, your saliva won’t be produced to help remove those bacteria and debris from your mouth and the top of your tongue (which most likely is causing the whiteness on your tongue).
Smoking, tobacco and alcohol can be other ways that your tongue may become white, especially if you don’t brush/floss after smoking/drinking.
Additionally, breathing through your mouth can cause a white tongue as well.
Can white tongue mean anything serious?
If you have a white tongue, it is possible that there are other things at work as well. Besides possibly being Oral Thrush, white tongue can come about because of a weak immune system causing your tongue to become white. Also, the sexually transmitted infection, syphilis, can also cause white tongue if left untreated.
Generally the case though, if the whiteness on your tongue isn’t causing you any pain or discomfort, then you shouldn’t have to be too worried about it being something bad. If it doesn’t clear up within two weeks, it is recommended to talk to your doctor about the issue.
How to treat white tongue
The first thing to do when treating white tongue is to go back to the basics. Make sure you brush your teeth, tongue, and roof of your mouth, and make sure to floss, daily. Those two things will help cure not only your white tongue, but also a plethora of other health concerns.
Specifically for white tongue, you have several options to help clear that white film off of your tongue.
Baking soda. Baking soda is a great answer for a number of problems. Just mix a teaspoon of it with lemon juice to create a paste-like texture, and use it to brush your teeth and tongue with.
Garlic. Garlic, like baking soda, is a cure for many things gone wrong in your body. Some suggest eating a clove a day to help get rid of the white tongue. If you are able to do that, but can’t stand the smell it leaves in your mouth, feel free to check out our article on getting rid of garlic breath.
Oil Pulling. Coconut oil works best, but sometimes olive or oregano oil can be used as a substitute. Take a tablespoon of oil, and swish it around your mouth for about 10-20 minutes, then spit it out, and brush your mouth like normal.
Tongue Scraper. Many times, your tongue can’t quite do the job for brushing your tongue and getting the whiteness off of your tongue completely. That is where a tongue scraper comes in handy. Just scrape your tongue daily, or several times a day, and you’ll be rid of white tongue in a short amount of time.
Oral Thrush Vs White Tongue
It’s not that hard to be able to tell the difference between white tongue and Oral Thrush. If it makes you sore, leaves you bleeding, and causes pain, it is probably Oral Thrush. On the other hand, if it doesn’t cause you discomfort in any way, then it most likely is just a simple case of white tongue, and you have nothing to worry about.
Just make sure to treat your tongue, which ever case you have, and your problem should disappear soon without major cause or concern. By properly keeping your mouth clean and healthy, you’ll be able to keep yeast infection and white debris buildup from atop of your tongue.