Baby thrush, or, infant thrush is an overgrowth of Candida Albicans yeast in the baby’s mouth. In other words, thrush is a yeast infection of the mouth.
It’s the same infection that causes diaper rash. Think about it - those two locations on the body are simply the opposite ends of the same very long tube (our digestive system).
This page talks mostly about baby thrush but adults can develop thrush too.
Candida Albicans is a yeast (fungus) which naturally lives inside all of us. It is found in our mouths, intestines and our genital areas.
Normally, candida is kept “in check” by the healthy intestinal flora also present inside all of us. But a variety of factors can create an environment where the yeast grows out of control, creating thrush, or diaper rash for starters.
Although thrush itself is not considered a dangerous condition, it is a clear indication that the normally healthy intestinal flora are out of balance, allowing candida and other potentially harmful microorganisms to proliferate. This condition can lead to more serious problems if it's not treated and healed sooner than later, as the majority of our immune function relies upon healthy gut flora.
Adults who get thrush usually notice a white coating on the tongue, commonly referred to as oral thrush.
Baby thrush is most common in infants and babies up to about 5 or 6 months old.
You’ll recognize thrush by the characteristic whitish, milky spots or patches inside the cheeks, inside the lips, on the gums or on baby’s tongue.
Thrush can also appear as a thick white coating on the tongue.
If you try to scrape the thrush spots off, they will often bleed. Although not considered dangerous, this type of oral yeast infection can make your baby’s mouth feel sore, so be prepared for possible problems with feeding.
If you’re breastfeeding your infant, or are wondering whether your baby's thrush is contagious just click the following links for more information.