Advice on White Spots on Tongue: My baby has white spots on her tongue. She has been feverish and not feeling well all week. Not sure what is going on here?

Your baby is most likely suffering a condition that often happens to babies called oral thrush. This is a condition that is also called oral candidiasis and is caused by a fungal infection of the mouth, which is manifested by white spots on the pharynx, tongue and gums. The Candida fungus that is responsible for the infection is also responsible for vaginal yeast infections. You have to show the condition to a health care professional at the earliest and get it treated as soon as possible.

Oral candidiasis in newborns and babies is usually the result of administering drugs to prevent the transfer of staphylococcus infections from the mother to the child, but this is largely implicated in the spread of the disease. Fungi like the Candida fungus is kept in check due the existence of the body’s own bacteria. In a similar example, yeast infections of the vagina can only take hold once the existing bacteria of the vagina, lactobacillus, are displaced or destroyed. When this happens, the fungi have no competition for resources like nutrients and they start to grow and proliferate. Another important mechanism is that the good bacteria of the body create a surrounding environment that is acidic, which fungi and some other bacteria cannot tolerate. In the case of oral thrush in babies, the biggest hurdle to overcome is the lack of lactobacillus bacteria in the baby. Add to this, the fact that the immune system of a young human is not well developed. This is a situation where the pathogenic microbe has many factors working in its favor.

Bacterial infections are best fought with antifungal medications like clotrimazole. This is also available as an oral suspension, which would be much easier to give to a baby. Home remedies for fighting oral infections for babies are extremely limited because they are more difficult to administer willingly. In addition, toxicity is also a primary concern; therefore, one of the best home remedies you can use along with prescription medicine is honey. Honey has antimicrobial properties and this can be administered freely and without worries of dosage either. If you are breastfeeding your child then this also puts you at risk because of the exposure of your nipple to the candida fungus. You will also have to undergo some kind of topical ointment included in your treatment regimen to ensure that you do not fall prey to the yeast infection.

answered by G M

Thrush is common among infants on feeding bottle / pacifiers. It is a result of increased production of yeast.Sterilise the bottles and try to reduce their usage. Application of gentian violet with a cotton swab (with a lot of care!) is helpful.

answered by r k

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