Self-management

Lifestyle and home remedies

These suggestions may help during an outbreak of oral thrush:

  • Practice good oral hygiene. Brush and floss regularly. Replace your toothbrush often until your infection clears up. Don't share toothbrushes.
  • Disinfect dentures. Ask your dentist for the best way to disinfect your dentures to avoid reinfection.
  • Try warm saltwater rinses. Dissolve about 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 milliliters) of salt in 1 cup (237 milliliters) of warm water. Swish the rinse and then spit it out, but don't swallow.
  • Use nursing pads. If you're breast-feeding and develop a fungal infection, use pads to help prevent the fungus from spreading to your clothes. Look for pads that don't have a plastic barrier, which can encourage the growth of candida. Wear a clean bra every day. Ask your doctor about the best way to clean your breast nipples, bottle nipples, pacifiers and any detachable parts of a breast pump if you use one.

Prevention

These measures may help reduce your risk of developing candida infections:

  • Rinse your mouth. If you need to use a corticosteroid inhaler, be sure to rinse your mouth with water or brush your teeth after taking your medication.
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily or as often as your dentist recommends.
  • Check your dentures. Remove your dentures at night. Make sure dentures fit properly and don't cause irritation. Clean your dentures daily. Ask your dentist for the best way to clean your type of dentures.
  • See your dentist regularly, especially if you have diabetes or wear dentures. Ask your dentist how often you need to be seen.
  • Watch what you eat. Try limiting the amount of sugar-containing foods you eat. These may encourage the growth of candida.
  • Maintain good blood sugar control if you have diabetes. Well-controlled blood sugar can reduce the amount of sugar in your saliva, discouraging the growth of candida.
  • Treat a vaginal yeast infection as soon as possible.
  • Treat dry mouth. Ask your doctor about ways to avoid or treat your dry mouth.
July 22, 2017
References
  1. Oropharyngeal/esophageal candidiasis ("thrush"). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/candidiasis/thrush/. Accessed May 23, 2017.
  2. Kauffman CA. Overview of candida infections. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 24, 2017.
  3. Kauffman CA. Clinical manifestations of oropharyngeal and esophageal candidiasis. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 23, 2017.
  4. Kauffman CA. Treatment of oropharyngeal and esophageal candidiasis. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 23, 2017.
  5. Oral candidiasis (yeast infection). American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology. http://www.aaomp.bizland.com/public/oral-candidiasis.php. Accessed May 23, 2017.
  6. Onishi A, et al. Interventions for the management of esophageal candidiasis in immunocompromised patients. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/wol1/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD011938/abstract. Accessed May 23, 2017.
  7. Millsop JW, et al. Oral candidiasis. Clinics in Dermatology. 2016;34:487.
  8. Candidiasis (mucocutaneous). Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/en-pr/professional/dermatologic-disorders/fungal-skin-infections/candidiasis-mucocutaneous. Accessed May 23, 2017.
  9. Telles DR, et al. Oral fungal infections: Diagnosis and management. Dental Clinics of North America. 2017;61:319.
  10. Thrush and breastfeeding. La Leche League GB. https://www.laleche.org.uk/thrush/. Accessed May 23, 2017.
  11. Wilkinson JM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 5, 2017.