Home remedies for thrush in elderly

(Last Updated: Feb 4, 2007)

Smoking has all sorts of serious side effects. Apart from increasing your risk of cancer and medical conditions such as emphysema, regular consumption of tobacco can also affect the mouth, throat, gums, tongue and teeth. If the rash on your mother’s tongue is accompanied by pain, swelling and loss of taste, it may be a result of smoking and you should be sure to contact your doctor at the earliest.

Thrush on the tongue or oral thrush is a type of yeast infection that develops in the mucus membranes of the mouth. The most common type of yeast fungus that causes this type of infection is Candida albicans. While Candida is present in some amount in most adults and babies, a compromised immunity or a reaction to certain medications can cause an overgrowth of the fungus in the body. Other factors that can cause oral thrush include diabetes, poor nutrition, drug abuse, old age, ill-fitting dentures or AIDS. If the rash has been diagnosed as thrush, there are a number of remedies that she can try. Some popular thrush remedies for adults include:

  • Dilute a few drops of tea tree oil in 12 ounces of water and gargle with this mixture for a few seconds before spitting out. Never use tea tree oil in its undiluted form, as it is toxic.
  • Alternatively gargle with a mix of warm water and half-teaspoon salt. Repeat this remedy several times a day for the best results.
  • Increase the intake of healthy probiotics found in yoghurt and special probiotics drinks to help fight the infection. Be warned though that an overuse of probiotics can lead to diarrhea.
  • Rinse the mouth daily with a mix of soda bicarbonate and water. Swish it around the mouth and on the tongue and spit out. Baking soda helps reduce the amount of Candida fungus and fights the infection.
  • Avoid foods that are high in sugar and contain refined flour. These are some of the main causes of Candida overgrowth and cutting them out of a diet can help prevent recurring infections.
Apart from the above remedies, the underlying cause of the condition should be treated. For example, if dentures are giving your mother trouble, visit a dentist to have them fitted properly. Diabetes should be kept under control with the proper medication and lifestyle and dietary changes. Anti-fungal drugs can also help keep the infection in check. These usually come in the form of pastilles or lozenges that allow the medication to act directly in the mouth. In cases where the infection is severe or has spread, antifungal injections may be necessary.

answered by A S

First step would be to encourage your mom to stop smoking. The next step is to increase probiotic intake: eat a good quality yogurt 2-3 times per day and purchase a good quality probiotic from a health food store.

answered by Dr C M N


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