How Long Does Oral Thrush Last Without Treatment (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 1-2 Weeks

Oral thrush or mouth thrush is an infection in which the fungus called Candida albicans gets accumulated in the mouth. When yeast develops inside the mouth, it gives rise to this type of infection. This infection is also known as oral candidiasis, oropharyngeal candidiasis, or thrush. This infection is commonly found in babies and toddlers. The most prominent cause of the infection is yellow or white bumps on the inside of the cheek and on the tongue.

Thrush infection is mild and doesn’t cause any major problems. But people who have weak immune systems can have the infection react to even other parts of the body leading to serious implications. In most cases, the infection gets cured on its own without any treatment but in some cases, the infection might take time and the assistance of antifungal medications.

How Long Does Oral Thrush Last Without Treatment?

MedicationDuration To Cure
Without any Medication2 Week
With Nystatin1 Week

The oral thrush can last up to two weeks without any treatment. However, if the immunity system is low, the fungus can travel to other parts of the body and stay for long. In the early stages, oral thrush can be asymptomatic, but with time it can grow infectious. Some of the most common symptoms of oral thrush are white or yellow patches of bumps on cheeks, tonsils, gums, lips, or tongue.

Some other symptoms like bleeding in bumps, soreness or burning, a soft sensation, dry or cracked skin, bad/ loss of taste, and difficulty in swallowing are also some common symptoms of oral thrush. If the body has a lower level of immunity, the oral thrush infection can also travel to esophagus. The growth of the infection can thus be hazardous and cause serious implications in the future.

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Oral thrush is caused by excessive growth of Candida that is a fungus. The problem is generally for a smaller duration of time and gets cured easily within a few weeks period. Thrush can be caused to babies of one month to even older people who have weakened immune systems over time. The esophagus thrush is found more commonly among people with HIV/Aids.

Oral thrush is not easily transmissible through kissing or close contact. Babies can with oral thrush sometimes pass the infection to their mothers during the process of breastfeeding. This is one of the most common problems found in women. The fungus can thus, travel to different parts of the female if not treated properly.

Why Does Oral Thrush Last This Long Without Any Treatment?

The treatment of the fungus takes time because the Candida fungus grows deep inside the mouth and lives there. If the immunity system is working healthy, vitamin C keeps the Candida Albicans in control. But when the immune system is not in control, the fungus grows out of control creating a thrush in the mouth. Treatments like cancer or chemotherapy can also damage the cells causing the outgrowth of oral thrush.

HIV can cause oral thrush. Uncontrollable diabetes, high blood sugar levels that weaken the immunity system can cause oral thrush. The fungus can also cause yeast infection in the body. You can also pass the infection through oral, vaginal, or anal sex. Some common remedies for oral thrush are to brush teeth with a soft brush, change the brush after recovery from oral thrush.

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Clean all your dentures for lowering the risk of reinfection. Avoid using mouthwashes or mouth sprays as this can infect your mouth causing oral thrush. Some home remedies like rinsing the mouth with salt water, a solution of water and baking soda, a mixture of lemon juice and water, a mixture of water and apple cider vinegar can help you recover quickly from the infection.

Conclusion

The oral thrush infection that is caused by the excess of Candida albicans can be cured within two weeks without any treatment. However, the time period of the infection can also vary to large durations if the immunity system is not working properly. Vitamin C helps in curing oral thrush. The infection can also pass from the mouth of a baby to mother during breastfeeding or during kissing between two individuals. Oral thrush is commonly found in people who have HIV.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0016508594901228
  2. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1049909116643927
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