Oral Thrush. Fight Your Symptoms with Our Treatment & Supplements

Updated: 11/21/23

Are your gums sore, your mouth feeling dry or uncomfortable, and do you have white patches on the inside of your cheeks? You may be dealing with oral thrush – a common fungal infection that affects many individuals. While it can cause irritating symptoms such as burning or pain in the mouth and throat, there are treatment options available to reduce inflammation and provide relief. In this blog post, we’ll share helpful information about oral thrush: what causes it; its symptoms; strategies for treating and managing it; plus nutritional supplements that could help fight against future flare-ups. Whether you’ve already been diagnosed with oral thrush or just want to learn more about the condition in order to proactively take action against potential infections, this article is for you!

What is Oral Thrush?

Oral thrush, also known as oral candidiasis, is a condition caused by an overgrowth of the fungus called Candida albicans. Candida albicans is always present in small quantities in your mouth and digestive system and typically doesn’t cause any harm. However, under certain circumstances like illness or hormonal changes, the quantity of candida can increase beyond normal levels, resulting in an infection.

Oral Thrush Symptoms

White Patches in the Mouth

One of the most distinctive oral thrush symptoms is the appearance of white or yellowish patches on the tongue, gums, or inside the cheeks. These patches may resemble cottage cheese and can be painful or cause a burning sensation. They can also bleed when scraped or irritated.

Soreness or Discomfort

Along with white patches, oral thrush can also cause soreness, redness, or a feeling of discomfort in the mouth. Some people may also experience difficulty swallowing or speaking.

Loss of Taste

Another oral thrush symptom is a loss of taste or altered taste sensation. You may notice a metallic, bitter, or even sweet taste in your mouth. This can be particularly frustrating if it affects your enjoyment of food and drink.

Cracking at the Corners of the Mouth

In some cases, oral thrush can cause cracking or fissures at the corners of the mouth. This condition, known as angular cheilitis, can be painful and unsightly. It’s important to address angular cheilitis promptly, as it can lead to secondary infections.

Difficulty Swallowing

Since the patches caused by oral thrush can extend down to the throat, it can make swallowing difficult. You may feel like something is stuck in your throat or have a constant sensation of having to clear your throat. This symptom often leads to weight loss or malnutrition, especially in seniors or those with compromised immune systems.

Bleeding Gums

If you experience bleeding gums, this could be a sign of oral thrush. This symptom usually occurs in conjunction with white or yellow patches on the gums.

Dry Mouth

Oral thrush can cause dry mouth, which can result in a decreased production of saliva. This can cause difficulty in swallowing or even speaking. A dry mouth can also increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

Bad Breath

Finally, oral thrush can also cause chronic bad breath or halitosis. This can be embarrassing and affect your self-esteem. Fortunately, addressing the underlying cause of oral thrush can help eliminate bad breath as a symptom.

Symptoms/Risk Factors of Oral Thrush

Causes of Oral Thrush

Poor Oral Hygiene

One of the most common causes of oral thrush is poor oral hygiene. When you do not brush or floss regularly, food particles and bacteria can build up in the mouth, creating an environment that is perfect for fungal growth. By keeping your mouth clean, you can help prevent the growth of yeast and other harmful organisms.

Immune System Issues

Another common cause of oral thrush is a weakened immune system. When your immune system is compromised, it can’t fight off infections as effectively as it should. Certain medications, chemotherapy treatments, and illnesses, like HIV/AIDS, can all weaken the immune system, making it more susceptible to oral thrush.


Antibiotics are another major cause of oral thrush. They are designed to kill bacteria, including the good bacteria in your body that keep the Candida fungus in check. When these beneficial bacteria are destroyed, it creates an opportunity for the Candida fungus to overgrow, causing thrush.

Birth Control Pills

The use of birth control pills can also increase your risk of oral thrush as it can disrupt the balance of hormones in your body and increase the growth of yeast. To prevent oral thrush caused by birth control pills, it is recommended to practice good oral hygiene and limit the use of oral contraceptives.

Poor Nutrition

Poor nutrition can also play a role in the development of oral thrush. A diet that is high in sugar and refined carbohydrates can feed and promote the growth of the Candida fungus. To prevent thrush, it is important to eat a well-balanced diet that is rich in whole foods, protein, and healthy fats.


Another common cause of oral thrush is uncontrolled diabetes. When people have high blood sugar, they provide an environment where the Candida fungus can thrive. The fungus feeds on the excess sugar in saliva, leading to oral thrush. People with diabetes also tend to have weakened immune systems, increasing their risk of developing oral thrush. Therefore, managing your blood sugar properly can help you avoid complications like oral thrush.

Conditions That Affect the Mouth

Certain conditions that affect the mouth, such as dry mouth (xerostomia), can make it easier for Candida albicans to multiply. Dry mouth can be caused by a variety of factors including medication, dehydration and autoimmune diseases. Treating the underlying condition and staying hydrated can help reduce the risk of developing oral thrush.

Lifestyle Factors

Smoking or using tobacco products can irritate the mouth, making it easier for oral thrush to take hold. Additionally, consuming a high sugar diet can also cause oral thrush. Sugar feeds Candida albicans, leading to an overgrowth. Limiting your sugar intake and quitting smoking can help prevent oral thrush.

Is Oral Thrush Contagious?

It is possible for oral thrush to be contagious because it can be passed from one person to another through kissing. Oral thrush is a form of yeast infection; therefore, it is possible to pass the infection from the mouth to other body parts of someone else.

People with oral thrush or other types of yeast infections, including vaginal and penile yeast infections, can potentially infect others through oral, vaginal, or anal sex. In addition, pregnant women with a yeast infection can pass on the infection to their babies during birth. On the same breath, lactating mothers with a yeast infection on their breasts or nipples can potentially transmit the infections to their babies during breastfeeding. However, the transmission of the Candida fungus to another person does not necessarily cause oral thrush. The fungus is also found in the environment. Therefore, contracting oral thrush does not necessarily mean that you got it from another person.

Is Oral Thrush an STD?

Oral thrush is not an STD but rather a common fungal infection that can affect anyone. It is caused by the overgrowth of Candida fungus in the mouth and can be triggered by a variety of factors, including poor oral hygiene, weakened immune system, and the use of certain medications.

How is Oral Thrush Treated

Physical Exam

One of the most common ways to diagnose thrush is through a physical exam. Your doctor will conduct an oral examination and look for signs of thrush, such as white patches on your tongue, roof of your mouth, or throat. They may also observe your mouth using a tongue depressor to have a close look.

Microscopic Test

Your doctor may take a small scraping from the lesions in your mouth and examine it with a microscope to determine if there is an overgrowth of Candida. This test usually confirms the presence of thrush.

Blood Test

It can sometimes be an indication of an underlying condition that is affecting your immune system. So, your doctor may also conduct a blood test to check for HIV, diabetes, and other conditions that may contribute to an overgrowth of Candida fungus.

Culture Test

When other tests are inconclusive, your doctor may recommend a culture test. This test involves taking a sample of the lesion and sending it to a laboratory to grow the Candida fungus. Cultures can take several days to grow, but they are highly accurate.

Chemical Analysis

For severe cases of thrush that keep returning or are resistant to treatment, your doctor may ask for a chemical analysis test. This test helps to determine which antifungal medication is most effective for your specific case.

Can Oral Thrush Cause Sore Throat?

When you have thrush, the yeast overgrowth can irritate the tissues in your mouth and throat, leading to inflammation and soreness. This can also cause difficulty swallowing, which can further exacerbate the discomfort in your throat. Additionally, oral thrush can spread to your esophagus, causing even more pain and discomfort when eating or drinking.

Will Oral Thrush Go Away On Its Own?

Oral thrush is a common disease that affects people of all ages. It is a fungal infection that usually appears as white patches in the mouth and on the tongue. If you have thrush, you may wonder if it will go away on its own. The short answer is that it can, but it depends on a few factors.

Oral Thrush Treatment

While oral thrush can be an uncomfortable and inconvenient condition, it is treatable. Antifungal medications, proper oral hygiene practices, and pain relief treatments can all help manage symptoms. If you suspect you have oral thrush, it’s important to consult your healthcare provider to determine the underlying cause and the best course of treatment.

Antifungal Medications

Antifungal medications are typically prescribed for thrush. These medications may come in the form of lozenges, mouthwashes, or tablets. Antifungal medications work by killing or preventing the growth of the Candida fungus that causes thrush. Common antifungal medications include clotrimazole, fluconazole, and nystatin. Treatment length can vary, anywhere from a few days to several weeks.

Intravenous Medication

For severe cases of thrush, your doctor may prescribe an intravenous (IV) medication. IV medications deliver antifungal medicine directly to your bloodstream. This treatment is often reserved for those who have a weakened immune system or who are unable to tolerate oral medications. IV medications will likely require a hospital stay for monitoring.

Over-the-counter Pain Relief

If you’re experiencing pain and discomfort from oral thrush, there are over-the-counter pain relief treatments available. Pain relief gels and creams containing benzocaine can provide relief from mouth pain.

Good Oral Hygiene

In addition to medication, maintaining good oral hygiene practices is crucial to treating thrush. Be sure to brush and floss your teeth regularly, use a mouthwash with antifungal agents, and clean your dentures (if you wear them) daily. Avoiding certain foods, such as sugary and acidic items, can also be beneficial in preventing thrush from worsening.

Regular Check-ins

Regular check-ins with your doctor can help manage ongoing symptoms of thrush. They may prescribe a maintenance medication or suggest a schedule for you to follow. It’s also important to keep your immune system healthy by eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and getting adequate rest.

Oral Thrush Home Remedies

The good news is that there are all-natural alternatives that are just as effective in treating thrush without the nasty side effects.

Apple Cider Vinegar

This versatile vinegar has antibacterial and antifungal properties that make it an excellent remedy for oral thrush. For best results, mix a tablespoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with a cup of water. Gargle with the solution for 30 seconds, then spit it out. Repeat daily until the thrush disappears.

Essential Oils

Tea tree oil, oregano oil, and clove oil also work wonders in treating oral thrush. Mix a few drops of your preferred oil with a carrier oil like coconut oil, then swish the mixture in your mouth for several minutes before spitting out. Do this at least twice a day to get the best results.


It is often caused by an overgrowth of yeast in the mouth. Probiotics can help restore the balance of good bacteria in your mouth and gut, thereby preventing the overgrowth of yeast. Yoghurt, kefir, and kimchi are some excellent sources of probiotics that you can add to your diet alongside your normal meals.

Baking Soda

An alkaline environment helps regulate the growth of fungus in the mouth. Baking soda, which has alkaline properties, is an effective remedy for thrush. Mix half a teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of warm water, then swish it in your mouth for 30 seconds before spitting it out. Repeat three times a day for best results.


Garlic’s antifungal properties make it an excellent remedy for oral thrush. Peel and crush a clove of garlic, then mix it with a tablespoon of coconut oil. Apply the mixture directly on the affected area and let it linger for at least 20 minutes before rinsing it out. Repeat daily until the thrush disappears.

Oral Thrush Supplements

While antifungal medications can be effective, natural supplements can also help to relieve symptoms and get rid of the infection.


Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that promote gut health and boost the immune system. They can also help to balance the Candida Albicans yeast in the mouth, reducing the risk of thrush. Some of the best probiotics for thrush include Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium bifidum, and Streptococcus thermophilus.


Garlic is a natural anti-fungal and anti-bacterial agent that can help to eliminate the Candida Albicans fungus responsible for thrush. You can add raw garlic to your diet  or garlic supplements to boost your immune system and increase your body’s ability to fight infections.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps to support the immune system and reduce inflammation. It also helps to fight infections by boosting the production of white blood cells in the body. By consuming vitamin C-rich foods or supplements, you can help to reduce the risk of thrush and relieve its symptoms.


This essential mineral is involved in many important functions in your body, including immune function, wound healing, and taste sensation. Zinc deficiency can lead to weakened immunity and oral infections, including thrush. Zinc supplements have been shown to improve the immune response in people with soft tissue oral lesions, such as thrush.

Vitamin D

This vitamin is essential for bone health and immune function. Low levels of vitamin D have been associated with increased risk of infectious diseases, including fungal infections. Vitamin D supplements may help enhance the antimicrobial and antifungal activity of immune cells, reducing the severity and duration.

Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant that is naturally present in the body. It helps to support the immune system and reduce oxidative stress. By taking CoQ10 supplements, you can help to reduce the risk of thrush and other infections.


Echinacea, commonly known as the Coneflower, is a potent immune booster and natural antifungal herb. Its immune-boosting properties help to fight off bacteria, viruses and candida overgrowth that often results in thrush. You can consume echinacea as a tea by boiling one teaspoon of dried echinacea root in a cup of water for 10-15 minutes. Strain the mixture and drink it two to three times a day for optimal results. You can also take an echinacea supplement available on our website.

Effects of Oral Thrush on Breastfeeding

The Candida fungus that causes oral thrush is also responsible for yeast infections on the nipples and breasts. Therefore, it can quickly be passed from a mother to a baby during breastfeeding. In addition, babies with oral thrush can transmit the infection to the nipples and breasts of their mothers or other parts of the body.

It is essential to understand that the fungus that causes yeast infection may live on the skin without causing any symptoms of an infection. Therefore, infected mothers who do not show any signs of yeast infection on their breasts or nipples may transmit oral thrush to their babies.

Some of the signs of oral thrush on the breasts or nipple include:

  • Painful breasts during or after breastfeeding
  • Itch or a burning sensation on the infected part of the nipple or breasts
  • Shiny or pale spots around the infected nipple or breast
  • Flaky skin on or around the infected nipples or breasts

Seek medical attention if you suspect a yeast infection on you or your baby. A doctor will prescribe treatment for both you and your baby to prevent the cycle of infection and re-infection. Your doctor may also advise you to:

  • Give your baby antifungal treatment as prescribed
  • Apply antifungal gel on the affected parts of your nipples and breasts and be sure to wipe off the gel before allowing your baby to breastfeed
  • Sterilize your baby’s items including bottle nipples, pacifiers, breast pump and teething rings
  • Clean your nipples and keep them dry at all times when the baby is not breastfeeding
  • Avoid nursing pads with plastic liners because they trap moisture that promotes fungal growth

The Bottom Line

While oral thrush can be an uncomfortable and inconvenient condition, it is treatable. Antifungal medications, proper oral hygiene practices, and pain relief treatments can all help manage symptoms. If you suspect you have oral thrush, it’s important to consult your healthcare provider to determine the underlying cause and the best course of treatment. By following your doctor’s recommended treatment plan and taking good care of your oral health, you can successfully manage and treat.

It can be a painful and uncomfortable condition, but it doesn’t have to be a permanent one. By adopting a natural and holistic approach, you can help to relieve your symptoms and get rid of the infection. Supplements like probiotics, garlic, vitamin C, tea tree oil, and Coenzyme Q10 can all help to promote gut health, boost the immune system, and fight infections. So, if you’re suffering from it, consider adding these natural supplements to your daily routine. Always remember that prevention is key to promote optimal health.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease

Author: James D