How Long Does Thrush Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 7 – 14 Days

A yeast infection inside the mouth, on the tongue, or in the lining of the mouth is called thrush. Oral thrush can be seen in both adults and children when there is a growth of fungus inside one’s mouth.

Micro-organisms are everywhen present around us but are not visible to the human’s naked eyes. Among them, fungi responsible for causing thrush might also be present. Typically, these are harmless to humans but a small variety could cause an infection like the thrush in humans.

This condition is generally seen in people with low immunity, poor health conditions, having some underlying health problems, etc. This type of fungus, commonly called yeast, that causes thrush is scientifically named Candida. Candida causes candidiasis. It is naturally present inside one’s mouth, throat, and gut and can cause thrush, which is also referred to as oropharyngeal candidiasis.

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How Long Does Thrush Last?

ConditionDuration
Minimum time 2 – 7 days
Maximum time7 – 14 days

Candida normally lives inside the gut, throat, mouth, and in some parts of the digestive tract without causing any problems in healthy individuals. However, people who are very old, or babies who are too young might develop thrush as their immune is susceptible to infection as compared to healthy people.

It can be characterized by the presence of white patches on one’s inner cheeks, the roof of the mouth, or the tongue. The affected region becomes red and sore. Due to oral candidiasis, one might experience loss of taste, difficulty in chewing or swallowing food, etc.

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The duration of how long could the thrush last depends on the severity of the infection caused by the fungus i.e yeast. If the infection is mild, such a case might not require any treatment and would come back to a normal situation in about a few days. However, if the infection is not mild, it could take about 7 to 14 days for the infection to entirely disappear.

Why Does Thrust Last This Long?

There are several factors that could trigger thrush in people with weak immune systems. It is commonly seen among newborns and infants but is typically not harmful.

Thrush is generally not contagious but could spread by direct contact. The white patches due to thrush could be extremely painful and might cause extreme discomfort to people. It could also cause burning mouth syndrome wherein there is a painful burning sensation, dryness, soreness, numbness, etc. Tasting ability is also lost and there is an unpleasant feeling in the mouth.

As it is a type of infection, it is vital to control it. Mild thrush goes away on its own but if the recovery is taking time, some home remedies like water with salt which has antiseptic properties, probiotic yogurt, lemon juice which has antifungal abilities, turmeric being anti-inflammatory in nature, clove oil, apple cider vinegar, etc can help in providing relief to painful mouth lesions.

One must treat the thrush as soon as possible to avoid it from spreading to other locations. A thrush is normally treated with antifungal medications as the cause of thrush is a fungus. These medications could help one eradicate thrush in about 1 – 2 weeks. Oral thrush could easily be kept at bay by maintaining excellent oral health by brushing twice a day, using a mouthwash, rinsing correctly, keeping dentures clean (if any), etc.

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Conclusion

The duration for which a thrush could last hugely depends on the immunity of the people and the severity of the oral infection. Thrush is highly uncommon in people with good immunity power. When infants or babies experience thrush it is often harmless and goes away within a week without requiring any kind of treatment.

People with uncompromised immunity would recover from thrush within 2 weeks. However, if the infection has not improved even in about 7 to 14 days, one should immediately consult the doctor to inquire about medications that can aid in the healing process.

References

  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02600284
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S000293783490908X