If you're the type who goes to the doctor only as a last resort (you know who you are), there are some things you can try at home.
Unsweetened yogurt with Lactobacillus acidophilus in it or over-the-counter acidophilus capsules won't kill Candida for you, but they can bring back balance to your bacterial community. Rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater can also help -- the Mayo Clinic recommends you use a mixture of ½ teaspoon salt to 1 cup water. A diluted 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution can also serve as a rinse.
Common home remedies for thrush include a swab of coconut oil, distilled white vinegar or a baking soda solution to affected areas, but there's no scientific evidence to back any of these as a cure, so use at your own risk.
As with so many conditions, prevention is key, and taking good care of your mouth goes a long way toward not having to explain that you can't kiss someone because you have a yeast overgrowth in your mouth. So, remember:
- Brush your teeth. Brush at least twice a day with a soft toothbrush. If you're an inhaler user, brush after each use. If you're not a great brusher (we all have our strengths), invest in an electric toothbrush.
- Replace toothbrushes frequently.
- Floss daily.
- Make regular appointments with your dentist.
- Avoid mouthwashes and breath sprays.
And for dentures-wearers, clean your faithful prosthetic device each and every night. Want to learn more about thrush? We have lots more information on the next page.