Written by Laura – Resident Baby Nurse at Choice Pharmacy
What is oral thrush?
Oral thrush is a fungal infection of the throat, tongue or the inside of the mouth. Oral thrush is mostly caused by a fungal yeast called Candida Albicans.
We all have yeast in our bodies, and usually our immune systems keep it in balance with the other bacteria and fungi that live in our body. Sometimes the balance is upset, the yeast can multiply and cause an infection.
There are certain things that may upset the balance these include:-
Some babies pick up oral thrush when they pass through their mothers’ vaginas during birth. This is because the vagina often has small amounts of candida naturally.
Babies might also develop oral thrush if they suck on objects already infected with thrush, like nipples, teats or dummies. Oral thrush is very common in the first two years of life. It doesn’t easily spread between children.
What does oral thrush look like?
Oral thrush generally doesn’t irritate babies and young children. But it might cause irritation if the areas get very inflamed. If there’s inflammation your child might not want to feed or eat. They might also drool. And if the infection spreads to the oesophagus, it can be painful and difficult for them to swallow.
If a baby is breastfeeding, they can pass on thrush, which can cause an infection of the nipple. This infection causes inflammation and cracked nipples. Your breasts might be painful during feeding.
How to treat oral thrush?
If your baby is having difficulty feeding or is irritable, your GP will probably recommend antifungal drops or oral gel, which you use after each feed or meal for 10 days.
Sometimes oral thrush is associated with thrush in the nappy area, which will also need treatment.
Breastfeeding your child is still recommended if your baby has oral thrush. You will also need to treat the nipples at the same time, too.
How to prevent oral thrush?
There are several things you can do to prevent oral thrush:
You can book our Baby Nurse for in-store consultation online.