If you see some strange creamy white spots on your tongue, you probably have a condition called oral thrush. It is an infection which often occurs due to the overgrowth of the Candida Albicans (a kind of yeast) in the mouth lining.
Anyone can get oral thrush, but people with weakened immune system, older adults, and babies, those who wear dentures or have diabetes.
While the white area on your tongue is the common sign of thrust, the fungus may spread out to your inner check, gum, root of your mouth or back of your throat. As a result, you will feel the pain when you eat or brush your teeth, loss of taste, and sometimes bleeding.
Mothers who are breastfeeding babies and their infants can get thrush as well. While the babies will develop thrush on their tongues, mother will feel breast pain during breastfeeding, especially on the nipples.
Apart from medical treatment, there are some good remedies for oral thrush that reduces and controls the growth of thrush at home.
#1. Salt Water
Salt is one of the most effective treatments for oral thrush. Gargling with warm salt water help create an inhospitable environment for the fungus inside your mouth. To treat the thrush with salt water, just combine ½ to 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 glass of warm water. Then use the mixture to gargle for 1 minute and spit it out. Do it again for a few times per day until the thrust is controlled. It will also help relieve the symptom quickly.
For the treatment of baby thrush, dip a thin cotton swab into warm salt water and gently use it to wipe your baby’s mouth. Salt water with the suitable sodium chloride to water ratio (about 0.9%) is totally safe for babies even if swallowed.
#2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar contains natural enzymes that can control the amount of candida in body. It also contain vitamins and minerals to boost immune system and help balance the pH level to fight the candida overgrowth. Take one tablespoon of raw, organic apple cider vinegar with warm water or salt water to rinse your mouth every day until the infection has resolved. Otherwise, since apple cider vinegar has a strong taste, adding honey and apple cider vinegar to water for a drink or using it as a salad dressing is a good idea.
If you are doing bottle-feeding or breastfeeding to your baby, you should rinse the bottle and nipples with vinegar water (1:1 ratio) every day then let them dry naturally. By that way, you can prevent growth of thrush in your baby’s mouth.
#3. Plain Yogurt
Yogurt is an excellent remedy for oral thrush due to its high amount of natural lactobacillus bacteria, which is known as good bacteria. Not only improving digestion, but this type of probiotic can also heal oral thrush by preventing the growth of Candida Albicans. Plain, unsweetened yogurt works best.
Avoid using the sweetened one because sugar will make the infection worse. To use yogurt as a treatment, you can either eat the yogurt two times a day within a few weeks or rub the yogurt on your tongue and inner check with your finger for 5 minutes then rinse it.
#4. Tea Tree Oil and Cinnamon Oil
Tea tree oil works effectively to treat oral thrush when being used as a mouthwash. With its powerful antifungal properties, tea tree oil is proved as a top antiseptic remedy to control the overgrowth of yeast and help recover quickly.
To make homemade mouthwash, add five drops of tea tree oil to a glass of warm water, and gargle the liquid for about two minutes. For the best result, it is recommended to use this remedy three times a day until oral thrush gets improved. But tea tree oil is toxic when swallowed, therefore, always spit it out and be careful when using tea tree oil for babies.
Like tea tree oil, cinnamon oil can also be used as a treatment of oral thrush. You can totally add cinnamon into your diet because it is non-toxic. Drink one or two cup of cinnamon tea every day and you will see the positive results very soon.
#5. Baking Soda
Using baking soda in oral thrush treatment is an inexpensive but still effective remedy. The research found that 5% sodium bicarbonate in baking soda is effective to kill Candida Albicans triggering the infection.
To use this treatment, make the paste from baking soda and water, apply it on your tongue and inner check, leave it for a few minutes then rinse your mouth. Or you can make a mouthwash with ½ teaspoon of baking soda and a glass of water. In addition, mothers who have thrush on their nipples can also apply the liquid to the infected area to heal it.