Have you lately been wondering about those white patches on your little one's tongue? They may be due to oral thrush. Find out more about this condition here...
If you have a young baby, you may have noticed white patches on his tongue or the inside of his mouth. Perhaps you thought these patches were milk residue. But did it ever cross your mind that these patches might be an indicator of oral thrush?
Before you panic, you probably need to know that oral thrush in babies in quite common and usually nothing to worry about. However, it’s still worth being in the know about this condition.
What is oral thrush and what causes it?
Oral thrush is a common infection in the mouth of newborns and young babies caused by a fungus called Candida Albicans.
According to medical experts at the National Health Service, UK (NHS), this fungus is present in the mouth of healthy people and it usually doesn’t cause problems. But sometimes, it can overgrow and infect the membranes in the mouth.
Oral thrush is particularly common in babies because their immature immune systems have less ability to fight infection. It can also occur if a baby has been recently treated with antibiotics. This is because the levels of “good” bacteria in your baby’s mouth are reduced by the antibiotics, allowing the growth of fungus levels.
Dr. Pratibha Agarwal, a consultant paediatrician for Kinder Clinic, explains that oral thrush in babies may also occur more commonly when the mum has a vaginal fungal infection or if she’s been on antibiotics for a long time. This infection can then be passed on to her baby during breastfeeding if the mum’s nipples are affected, resulting in oral thrush.
Milk residue or oral thrush? Find out how to differentiate between the two on the next page.