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Oral Thrush – A Quick Reference Guide

Does My Baby Have Oral Thrush | Penelope & Bella

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 you’re not able to wipe away
  • many babies don’t feel anything at all but some may have difficulty sucking because their mouths are sore.
Oral thrush in babies | Penelope & Bella
An example of oral thrush on a baby’s tongue – Photo credit www.med-health.net

How can I treat oral thrush?

  • first ask your paediatrician to confirm if your baby has oral thrush, he or she should be able to easily diagnose this visually.
  • treatment normally consists of an oral antifungal preparation, which you will give 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 with us in the comments section below, we’d love to hear from you!

Psst, have you read why your paediatrician says smoking can harm your baby?  Check out the article over here.

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