White patches - tongue/mouth/throat
Spongy white patches…on your tongue? Yep, it’s a thing! These telltale patches on the tongue, mouth, and/or throat usually signal oral thrush. Thrush is a condition caused by an overgrowth of the yeast fungus Candida albicans. This fungus is present in small amounts on and in just about everyone’s body, but often flares up in babies under 6 months old, people taking antibiotics, and those who have a compromised immune system. Thrush is common and easy to treat, and may go away on its own. However, for those of us who deal with a compromised immune system, it’s not always so simple. Not only is it harder for us to fight off any infection, antibiotics (which kill lots of good microorganisms in our bodies) can make us even more prone to developing yeast infections, including oral thrush. If you think you have oral thrush, you should avoid kissing or having sexual contact for a while, as it's easy to pass it from person to person. Even though thrush is very treatable, your partner will definitely appreciate your restraint! Antifungal medication is often used to treat thrush, although some people find natural treatments, like swishing warm saltwater, dabbing the white spots with lemon juice, or eating/taking probiotics, can also help. Be sure to brush and floss regularly. Your practitioner can help you figure out which treatment option is best for you.