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Thrush symptoms in your baby

Wednesday, February 05, 2014    

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IT'S a very common condition in infants, one that will cause parents endless sleepless nights, as they try to figure out how to soothe their ailing baby.

Characterised by creamy, white, cottage cheese-like coating on the tongue and inner cheeks, oral thrush is also very painful and will have your baby out of commission for at least a week.

And though the condition is rarely serious, oral thrush can interfere with eating and so the child's diet has to be monitored.

Oral thrush is caused by the fungus candida. This is the same fungus associated with vaginal yeast infections or other candida infections.

Infants naturally have the yeast candida albican in their mouths, and because their immune systems are not yet mature, the amount of yeast in the mouth can overgrow and lead to an infection.

Oral thrush usually occurs within the first six months of life. A a baby with the infection will have cracked skin in the corners of the mouth, and whitish or yellowish patches on the lips, tongue, or inside the cheeks.

Thrush may also be caused by conditions that upset the balance of normal microorganisms in the mouth, like with the administering of some antibiotics.

Other symptoms associated with thrush are:

1. Pain

2. Slightly raised area where thrush is

3. Dry mouth.

The infection is usually controlled with treatment, but it may recur. Thrush may spread to the palate, tongue, cheeks, or throat.

The only effective treatment for oral thrush is anti-fungal gel. Since thrush is caused by a fungus, you have to treat the fungus itself to be rid of it.

At home prevention tips

1. If you are formula-feeding your baby or using a pacifier, it's important to thoroughly clean the nipples and pacifiers in hot water after each use.

2. If you are breastfeeding and your nipples are red and sore, there's a chance you may have a yeast infection on your nipples, and that you and the baby are passing it back and forth. If so, you may want to talk to the doctor about using an antifungal ointment on your nipples while the baby is being treated with the antifungal solution.

3. If your child keeps getting oral thrush, or is older than nine months and is getting oral thrush, talk with your child's doctor because this might be an indication of another health issue.

4. Oral thrush can interfere with eating because of the discomfort food in the mouth may cause, and so the child's diet has to be closely monitored and a lot of liquid (such as formula and soy drink) given. Lack of monitoring can lead to dehydration.





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