Oral thrush is the accumulation of the
fungus candida albicans on the lining of your mouth.
It appears as creamy white lesions, usually on your tongue or inner
cheeks. They can be painful and may even bleed slightly when you scrape
them. Occasionally it can spread to the roof of your mouth, your gums,
your tonsils or the back of your throat. In severe cases, the lesions
may spread downward into your esophagus. possibly causing difficulty
swallowing or making one feel as if food is getting stuck in your
Although oral thrush can affect anyone, and can have a number of
different causes, for those of us with COPD, using inhaled
corticosteroids is most common. Oral thrush is a minor problem for the
healthy person. If you have a weakened immune system, the symptoms of
oral thrush may be more severe and difficult to control.
Initially, the symptoms may go unnoticed. Signs and symptoms may also
develop suddenly and persist for a long time. The symptoms can include:
Creamy white lesions on tongue, inner
cheeks, the roof of your mouth, gums and/or tonsils
Lesions with a cottage cheese-like
There may be pain
They may bleed slightly if rubbed or
There may be cracking or redness at the
corners of your mouth
You may have a cottony feeling in your
There may be a loss of taste
Eating may be difficult and even painful
Unchecked, it can spread to your
digestive tract, lungs and liver
For basically healthy people,
Eating unsweetened yogurt
Taking acidophilus capsules or
For advanced or severe cases
Antifungal medication. which
may be in lozenges, tablets or a liquid.
Amphotericin B. used when
candida albicans becomes resistant to antifungal medication
If you have to use a corticosteroid inhaler, be sure to rinse your
mouth with water or brush your teeth after taking your medication.
Try using fresh-culture yogurt containing Lactobacillus acidophilus or
bifidobacterium or take acidophilus capsules when you take
Dietary note: Try limiting the amount of sugar and yeast
containing foods you eat which tend to encourage the growth of candida.