What is oropharyngeal candidiasis? Well that is just a fancy word for oral thrush, caused by the Candida Albicans fungus (yup, the same one responsible for vaginal thrush too) Small amounts of this fungus normally are found in your mouth without causing harm, but your body’s good bacteria normally keep the fungus in check.
Why are babies at risk of developing oral thrush?
- babies’ immune systems are not yet fully developed so they are susceptible to infections
- the fungus can be passed on from the mother to the baby during normal childbirth
- a breastfeeding mom who has been on antibiotics risks passing on thrush to her baby
- a baby who has been on antibiotics may develop oral thrush
Signs and symptoms of oral thrush in babies
- your baby may develop cracked skin at the corners of the mouth
- you might be able to see whitish patches on your baby’s tongue or the inside of his cheeks that cannot be wiped away
- many babies don’t feel anything at all but some may have difficulty sucking because their mouths are sore.
How can I treat oral thrush?
- first ask your paediatrician to confirm if your baby has thrush. This is normally easy to diagnose visually, but sometimes a swab may have to be taken of your baby’s mouth and sent off to the laboratory for analysis.
- treatment normally consists of an oral antifungal preparation, which is given to your baby in drop form for a few days.
- if you are breastfeeding, you will have to treat yourself with a topical antifungal cream as well, to avoid re-infecting your baby and continuing the vicious circle.
Have you ever had to treat oral thrush in your infant? Please share your experiences in the comments section below. Here’s to happy, healthy babies!