Denture wearers may be familiar with the problem of oral thrush as a result of chafing, although it can also affect babies, people suffering from diabetes, those who are generally unwell and not at their strongest, or those taking steroid or antibiotic drugs.
It’s caused by a yeast-like fungus called Candida albicans which is also responsible for vaginal thrush. This usually lives harmlessly in the mouth and the intestines. Bacteria are normally able to keep it under control, but sometimes it will suddenly grow very rapidly, producing soreness and white flecks inside the mouth, painful cracks in the skin in the corners of the mouth and/or creamy yellow patches inside the mouth and throat.
If you think you or your baby have oral thrush, consult a doctor, who may prescribe an antifungal medicine or lozenges. Thrush will not go away without treatment. But if the patient is your baby, you can help by sterilising dummies frequently and, if you’re breast-feeding, taking extra care with nipple hygiene.
If you have suffered from oral thrush before and have had the symptoms diagnosed by your doctor, you’ll be interested to know that an oral gel formerly only available on prescription can now be obtained from chemists on a pharmacist’s recommendation. Daktarin Oral Gel contains miconazole, an antifungal and antibacterial drug that kills the yeast cells. It can be effective in the treatment of fungal infections of the lips, mouth and throat – and that includes oral thrush in babies and adults and the kind that is due to denture chafing. It’s sugar free, has a pleasant orange flavour and is specially formulated to stick to mucous membranes for up to six hours after application. For denture chafing, it may be useful to smear a small amount of Daktarin on to the denture plate. Relief from symptoms may occur quickly, but it’s important that you continue to use Daktarin for up to two days after the symptoms have cleared. If you’re pregnant you should consult your doctor before using the gel.
Daktarin Oral Gel, Oraldene