About a third of babies up to six months old may have thrush, and it is more common among those under three months . But what is this strangely named infection?
It is a very common infection caused by a fungus called “candida albicans” (for this reason, it is also called oral candidiasis) that manifests itself in the form of irregular white spots on the inside of the cheeks, palate, tongue and lips.
It looks like sour milk or yogurt and that’s why sometimes we don’t realize what it really is. To verify this, a sterile gauze moistened in boiled water can be passed over the tongue; if the white dots are still there, it is thrush, otherwise the spots will disappear.
Symptoms of thrush infection
- Whitish patches on the lips, tongue, or inner cheeks
- When trying to remove them, they can bleed and cause slight inflammation.
- You may have cracked skin at the corners of your mouth.
In principle, it is totally harmless, although sometimes it can be a bit annoying for the baby, causing burning and therefore the rejection of food. If the whitish areas are scratched to remove them, they may bleed. Check out more interesting articles on our site The Blog.
In some more severe cases, in which the infection spreads to the pharynx, it may prevent swallowing and cause aphonia, which is noticed when the child cries.
If your baby has these spots, you should see your pediatrician, who will prescribe an antifungal or antifungal medication . With treatment, the fungus disappears in a few days.
Although thrush is more common in young babies, it can also appear in older children, especially after antibiotic treatment, which alters the bacterial flora of the mouth.
You may also notice white dots on the bum when changing it, it is dermatitis due to candida, the same fungus spread to the intestine and eliminated with the poop. It can also cause a vaginal infection .
How to prevent thrush
- Clean bottle nipples and pacifiers very well.
- Keep prepared bottles in the fridge to prevent fungal growth.
- If the baby is breastfed and the mother’s nipples are red and sore, she may have a yeast infection and is passing it to the baby. If this is the case, consult your doctor.