Oral thrush is a fungal infection that can occur in and around the mouth and throat. It is also known as oral candidiasis, and is mostly caused by an overgrowth of fungal yeast called candida albicans.
For people with asthma, oral thrush can be associated with the use of corticosteroid inhalers. In particular among patients that take high doses regularly from their inhaler.
Symptoms of oral thrush can include white patches of plaque on soft tissues in the mouth, such as the tongue, that can often be wiped off, leaving behind red areas that may bleed slightly.
Beta-2 agonist inhalers that are used to treat asthma symptoms have been shown to affect the amount of saliva that is produced causing a decrease in saliva in the mouth. Less saliva in the mouth can cause a dry mouth. This can be associated with higher amounts of oral candida which cause oral thrush.
Ways to prevent oral thrush associated with asthma.
Oral thrush does need to be diagnosed via a swab sample from inside your mouth
- After using an asthma inhaler, rinse your mouth with water or fluoridated mouthwash.
- Use of a spacer device.
- Increase the amount of saliva in the mouth.
- Stay hydrated by drinking water.
- Chew sugar-free chewing gum to help stimulate saliva flow.
. The swab is sent to a laboratory to be examined under a microscope to confirm the diagnosis.