Oral thrush is a fungus infection caused by candida albicans, which lives naturally in the colon, digestive tract and on the skin. It can appear on the tongue, on the inside cheeks and in the throat. Severe cases can involve the esophagus. There are many extraneous variables that can cause oral thrush. One of them is stress.
Stress can lead to many physical problems and even certain diseases. At times, stress can affect fungus levels in the body. Though candida albicans lives naturally in the body and on the skin, stress can spur an overproduction of it. The candida fungus feeds on certain foods you eat (i.e., sugar and wheat gluten), making you feel tired and languid. It also irritates the mucus lining in your colon and causes fecal impactions. These impactions block vital nutrients from being absorbed into the blood stream. Over time, stress can lower your immunity and make you more prone to fungus infections such as oral thrush.
Candida albicans lives on the walls of the colon along with natural bacteria. When a person gets stressed out, particularly over a period of time, the fungus in the large intestines can overtake the body's natural bacteria. The bacteria kills some of the fungus in the process, and the fungus creates toxins in defense. These toxins along with other harmful substances can enter the bloodstream and invade cells and major organs. One of these organs is the skin. Consequently, internal candida can disturb candida on the skin and cause it to infect certain areas of the body, including the mouth.
People with oral thrush often have creamy white or yellow spots on their tongue or along the walls of their cheeks. This condition can also affect the roof of the mouth, throat and esophagus. These spots hurt, but not always. They tend to bleed if you rub them. It is not uncommon for people with oral thrush to have cracked lips at the corner of their mouth. They can also have a problem with their taste. People with esophageal thrush can often have trouble swallowing.
Oral thrush is usually treated with anti-fungal lozenges or tablets. These medications sooth the infection as they kill the fungus. Medications can include nystatin, clotrimazole and miconazole. Oral suspensions are often used for thrush in the throat and esophagus. Those with recurring incidences of thrush may need to change their diet.
Many doctors believe that stress along with other habits contribute to oral thrush. For example, people with an undue amount of stress may eat more junk food to help them cope with whatever is stressing them out. Thus, the combination of stress and poor diet can spur the overgrowth of candida albicans. A person suffering from stress and thrush may also smoke, use corticosteroids or take a lot of antibiotics. Any number of these variables can potentially cause oral thrush.