Prof. Juwon Arotiba, a Consultant Maxillofacial Dental Surgeon at University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan says prolong use of antibiotics, smoking and pregnancy are major causes of mouth thrush.
Arotiba, who is also a former Chairman of the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN), UCH branch, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan on Wednesday.
He defined mouth thrush as a fungal infection of the mouth, characterised by white patches.
He explained that thrush may be caused by a variety of factors, including illness, pregnancy, medications, smoking or dentures and infections.
He said the risk factors for thrush included weak immune system, medications, smoking or stress.
He added that “oral thrush is characterised by a thick white coating of the tongue, inner cheeks, inner lip region or gums, and is particularly prevalent in infants than adults.
“The symptoms of thrush include white patches in the mouth, inner cheeks, throat, palate, tongue, as well as soreness and mouth pain.
“Thrush is usually diagnosed by clinical examination by a physician or dentist.
“Treatment for thrush depends on the severity and the cause and can include simple home remedies, oral medications or systemic medications.
“The diagnosis for mild cases of thrush is good. The outlook for severe cases depends on the underlying cause and the status of the patient’s immune system.
“Thrush can be prevented in most cases by avoiding or reducing the risk factors.’’
Arotiba said most cases of mouth thrush were similar to genital thrush and treatment usually involved using similar oral medications.
He advised that medical attention be sought as early as possible to avoid complications, saying that patients should visit their dentists at least twice in a year.