Majid Ali, M.D.
What did my flashlight teach me about oral thrush? What do medical textbooks teach you about oral thrush? Most importantly, what did my patients teach me about thrush? I answer the questions in this order and then offer guidelines about the prevention and treatment of canker sores.
What did my flashlight teach me about Oral Thrush?
Oral thrush consists of patchy, thick, tan-white or cream-colored deposits, sometimes with a cottage cheese appearance, on the surfaces of the tongue, insides of cheeks, gums, tonsils, and throat. Sometimes cracks develop at the corners of the mouth. Usually painless, although thrush lesions can cause pain. When rubbed or scraped, the involved areas often bleed and become tender. By itself, oral thrush does not cause fever.
Oral thrush is generally considered to be a fungal infection caused by Candida species. I return to this subject later.
What do medical textbooks teach you about Oral Thrush?
Oral thrush (also known as oral candidias) is an infection of the mucous membranes of the mouth caused by yeast fungi of the genus Candida. The most common culprit species is Candida albicans. Less commonly, Candida glabrata or Candida tropicalis are the causative agents. In babies, oral thrush is referred to as candidiasis, while in adults, the terms candidosis and moniliasis are used.
In most severe form, oral thrush can spread down the esophagus, causing difficulty of swallowing (esophageal candidiasis) and beyond, such as the lungs (systemic candidiasis).
What did my patients teach me about Oral Thrush?
Oral thrush develops as consequences of altered states of bowel ecology, especially the issues of gut fermentation, excess mycotoxin production, leaky gut state—all caused by sugar and antibiotics abuse, undiagnosed and untreated mold allergy, food allergy and intolerance, parasitic infestations, and problems of indigestion and absorption. These factors cause: (1) excess acidity in the oral cavity and other corrosive fluids in the urinary and genital tracts; (2) increased free radical activity damage; (3) thickening of bodily fluids that interfere with optimal cellular breathing; and (4) biofilm formations over mucous linings. Biofilms are slimy layers of tangled proteins, rancid fats, and sticky sugars in which are embedded diverse microbial species that protect each other from natural and synthetic antibiotics.
The above is my explanation of the fact that most tobacco smokers do not develop leukoplakia. So, tobacco is a secondary factor. The same is true of viral and bacterial populations which are present in all oral cavities and genital and urinary tracts.
Canker sores are most commonly found on the insides of the cheeks, and the surfaces of the throat. Less commonly, it involves various areas of the genital and urinary tracts.