ORAL THRUSH IN NEWBORNS
Oral candidiasis (oral thrush), is an infection of yeast fungus, Candida albicans in the mucous membranes of the mouth.
Thrush is only a temporary candida infection in the mouths of babies.
White/cream or yellow coloured spots in the mouth. The spots are slightly raised and are painless.
Nystatin drops may be prescribed.
What is oral thrush?
Oral candidiasis (oral thrush) is a very common problem that can sometimes develop in newborn babies. Often your baby may feel irritable and uncomfortable due to the condition. Many people have Candida in their mouth, but our immune system allows us to balance out the Candida. Babies are more susceptible to Candida as their immune systems have not developed as much as adults.
How can I tell if my baby has oral thrush?
There are a few symptoms you might be able to identify if you suspect your baby has oral thrush, as follows:
- Your baby may present with white patches on the tongue, inside the cheeks or around the mouth.
- You may see a milk curd type white substance on the gums or tongue.
- You may notice prominent white spots on the mouth area. The spots are slightly raised and are painless.
- Your baby may have trouble sleeping or become irritable.
If your baby presents with any of the above symptoms you could visit your doctor who may prescribe you with medication to treat the oral thrush.
What causes oral thrush in babies?
There are many factors which can be attributed to oral thrush in babies and one of the most common reasons is when the Candida in your baby’s mouth has increased and caused an infection. Other causes of oral thrush in babies include the following:
- Your baby’s immune system is premature and more susceptible to infection
- Your baby is taking medication such as antibiotics which has reduced bacteria which is healthy in her body and subsequently allowed the Candida to further develop
- You may pass Candida to your baby if you are breastfeeding and taking antibiotics
- If you have thrush yourself and are breastfeeding you could pass it to your baby
- If you had a vaginal birth and there was thrush present your baby might have caught it
How is oral thrush treated?
If you think your baby might have oral thrush it is recommended to visit your doctor. Your doctor will prescribe you with oral antifungal treatment. If you are concerned about the amount of thrush in your baby you can discuss this further with your doctor who will be able to further advise you on what you could do to prevent it from happening in the future.