Oral candidiasis, or thrush, is a common problem in dry mouth patients.
Thrush can cause oral burning and pain. The appearance of thrush in a dry mouth patient is often atypical and appears as red and irritated instead of the typical white cottage-cheesy. The tongue may show grooves, and the corners of the lips appear red and crusty (called angular cheilitis).
Here are 10 tips that can help manage & treat oral thrush:
- Practice excellent oral hygiene and change your toothbrush frequently when oral candidiasis is active.
- Talk to your dentist or rheumatologist about taking Evoxac® (cevimilene) or Salagen® (pilocarpine) to increase salivary flow.
- Don’t use mouthwashes containing alcohol.
- Limit sugar and foods that contain yeast, such as wine, beer and bread. And increase your intake of acidophilus through unsweetened yogurts with live lactobacillus acidophilus or capsules.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol, both of which can increase dryness.
- Sip water frequently and rinse after eating or drinking if you can’t brush.
- If you smoke, STOP!
- Clean dental prostheses every day with an anti-fungal preparation and avoid wearing them at night.
- Talk to your dentist about prescription therapies available to help with oral candidiasis. Sometimes a combination of treatments is necessary if the problem is severe.
- For maintenance once thrush is under control, discuss with your dentist frequent use of a magic mouthwash with diphenhydramine, nystatin and Maalox. A chlorhexidine gluconate rinse can also be helpful (and if you wear dentures, it’s good for cleaning those too).
Check the Sjögren's Syndrome Foundation's Product Directory (free of charge to all SSF members) to see the many products available for dry mouth.
This information was taken from the SSF Patient Education Sheet: Oral Candidiasis (Thrush) authored by Nelson L. Rhodus, DMD, MPH, FICD. Dr. Rhodus is Professor and Director, Division of Oral Medicine, School of Dentistry Adjunct Professor, Department of Otolaryngology, School of Medicine, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Click Here to view the full SSF Patient Education Sheet: Oral Candidiasis (Thrush)