Learning about Oral Yeast Infection Medications

Although yeast is a microorganism that occurs naturally on the skin, in the digestive tract, and in the vagina, it can sometimes begin to grow aggressively and cause infections, usually in response to hormonal changes in the body or antibiotics that alter the natural balance of the body’s acidity or destroy the other microorganisms that usually inhibit yeast growth. Sometimes, newborn babies contract oral yeast infections from yeast present in the birth canal. Adult males can also have oral yeast infections, especially older men, resulting from systemic disruptions in levels of various microorganisms as described above or, more rarely, by ingesting vaginal yeast during oral intercourse.

Symptoms of Oral Yeast Infections

Often, an oral yeast infection will exhibit a whitish or yellowish coating on the inside of the mouth, easily removed by wiping. In this form, such infections are usually known as “thrush.” Oral yeast infections may also manifest as red, peeling patches, particularly on the palate or tongue, known as erythematous oral yeast infections. With hyperplastic, chronic oral yeast infections, extra tissue forms on the inside of the mouth which cannot be easily wiped off and may appear stained by food or tobacco. Finally, with angular cheilitis, cracking in the corners of the lips may be observed, often covered by a pseudo membrane. With most forms of oral yeast infections, there may be little discomfort. Individuals may also notice a craving for sugar or alcohol, digestive problems, or joint pain.

Oral Yeast Infection Medications

Several anti-fungal medicines are prescribed for oral yeast infections. Many are available as creams or ointments for topical application, and as mouthwashes or pills for oral use. Some of the trade names of these oral yeast infection medications are Mycolog II, Nilstat, Fungizone, Adria, Apothecon, Mycelex, Monistat, Nizoral, Candeptin, Diflucan, and Sporanox. Some of these medications for oral yeast infection carry higher risks of side effects, and patients who are taking Fungizone, Adria, or Apothecone should be monitored for liver damage.

Other Therapies

Since yeast infections are promoted by imbalances in the body’s natural acidity and intestinal flora and fauna, some physicians also prescribe a therapeutic diet designed to help restore balance. These foods and other natural substances include grapefruit seed extract, capricin tea, yogurt or milk containing acidophilus, grapeseed oil, artemisia, and gentian. Sugars, which provide nutrients for yeast growth, should usually be avoided. It is also a good idea to soak your toothbrush in household hydrogen peroxide to prevent reinfection.