How to Get Rid of Oral Thrush

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how to get rid of oral thrushThe mouth can sometimes be a gateway to disease, and that sentiment is especially true with conditions like oral thrush, which is also called oral candidiasis.

It’s caused by overgrowth of the fungus/yeast Candida albicans in the mouth lining. The fungus will accumulate and spread to the tonsils, gums, roof of the mouth, inner cheeks, and back of the throat. As a result, redness, thick white lesions, and possibly bleeding may occur.

Newborns can get oral thrush from birth. Sharing toys can lead to thrush in children.

Adults can pass along the condition through kissing. Understandably, a lot of people want to know how to get rid of oral thrush.

Symptoms of Oral Thrush

Oral thrush often develops quickly, but the symptoms may become more noticeable over time. The most common symptom is a creamy, white, and painful film on the tongue, which may even bleed when aggravated by food, a toothbrush, or teeth. Other oral thrush symptoms include:

  • Loss of taste
  • Dry mouth
  • Bad breath
  • Inflammation
  • Difficulty swallowing, and
  • Fussiness, irritability, or difficulty feeding in infants.

Mothers and their babies can get caught in a cycle where they continuously infect each other during breastfeeding. The breast may become infected with Candida. As a result, the mother experiences sharp, piercing breast pain during breastfeeding, flaking or shiny skin around the nipples, and intense itching or pain in the nipples.

Oral thrush can also be a sign of systematic Candida throughout the body where symptoms include constipation, diarrhea, rectal itching, abdominal pain, depression and anxiety, persistent fatigue, headaches, numbness, poor memory or concentration, congestion, allergies, and chronic skin rashes.

What Are the Causes of Oral Thrush?

The main cause of oral thrush is a weak immune system, which is why babies and the elderly are easily affected. About 80% of the immune system is in the digestive system, therefore poor gut function or bacterial imbalance may cause oral thrush.

The condition also occurs in people with compromised immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS. Allergies, stress, a high-sugar diet, and hormonal changes can also cause oral thrush. Other major root causes of the condition include:

  • Cancer treatment:

    Chemotherapy and radiation can weaken the immune system, which allows the bad microbes to take control of the body. This puts cancer patients at risk of oral thrush.

  • Medications:

    Several medications can lead to oral thrush, such as birth control pills, antibiotics, and corticosteroids.

  • Dentures:

    Sugar, plaque, and bacteria can accumulate on dentures. As a result, oral thrush may thrive, especially in those with diets high in sugar or refined carbs.

  • Diabetes:

    There is also a link between diabetes and oral thrush. Diabetics have more sugar in their saliva, and yeast loves sugar; Candida is yeast.

getting rid of oral thrush

Sugar, plaque, and bacteria can accumulate on dentures. As a result, oral thrush may thrive, especially in those with diets high in sugar or refined carbs.

How to Get Rid of Oral Thrush Naturally

Often antifungal medications are prescribed for oral thrush. However, these drugs may lead to liver damage, allergic reactions, and other side effects. Want to know how to get rid of oral thrush without medication? The first step is to build up your immune system.

You can do this through regular exercise, proper sleep, maintaining proper oral hygiene, and certain supplements such as vitamin C and other antioxidants. There are also some specific home remedies for oral thrush.

1. Oil Pulling

It’s a good idea to practice oil pulling with coconut oil every morning. Coconut oil is an effective remedy against oral thrush due to its combination of caprylic acid and lauric acid. An article published in the Indian Journal of Dental Research in 2008 (1) praised oil pulling for creating a clean and antiseptic environment in the mouth.

To oil pull, simply swish one to two tablespoons of the oil in your mouth for 10 to 20 minutes. Afterwards, spit it out and rinse your mouth with warm water. It’s important not to swallow the oil because it will now contain bacteria and toxins after swishing.

2. Thyme

Want to know how to treat thrush naturally using thyme? A study published in the Japanese Journal of Medical Mycology in 2010 (2) found that a number of herbs can inhibit oral Candida, including thyme. Thyme makes a great anti-Candida addition to almost any meal, and is a very effective natural thrush treatment.

3. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is one of the top oral thrush home remedies. Its powerful antifungal properties help control the overgrowth of yeast, especially in your mouth. A study published in the European Journal of Dentistry in 2013 (3) found that tea tree oil is an effective antimicrobial and antiseptic remedy against oral pathogens such as yeast.

Add five drops of tea tree oil to a glass of warm water, and gargle the solution for about two minutes. It’s a good idea to use the remedy twice daily until oral thrush has improved. Note: always spit out the solution, because tea tree oil can cause side effects when ingested.

4. Garlic

Home remedies for thrush should also include garlic. Garlic has antifungal properties and can inhibit oral thrush due to its active ingredient, allicin. Eat a clove of raw garlic daily to reduce your oral yeast infection.

Alternatively, you can take 500 to 1,000 milligrams twice daily of aged garlic extract supplement to improve immunity and fight oral thrush.

5. Cinnamon or Cinnamon Oil

Thrush on the tongue isn’t pretty, and adding cinnamon to your diet can go a long way in the treatment of oral thrush. A study published in the Japanese Journal of Medical Mycology in 2010 also suggested that the cinnamaldehyde in cinnamon inhibited oral Candida infection. Another study published in the journal Mycopathologia in 2011 (4) supported the anti-Candida activity of cinnamon oil.

As result, cinnamon essential oil should also be included in the treatment of oral thrush. How should you take cinnamon? Drink a cup or two of cinnamon tea every day.

To make it, boil a small cinnamon stick or a half-teaspoon of cinnamon powder in one and a half cups of water for about five minutes. Strain it, add some lemon juice, then drink. It’s important to note that pregnant women should avoid cinnamon.

6. Fermented Veggies

What are other home remedies for thrush in adults? Try eating lots of fermented veggies. Fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, and pickles contain probiotics that help balance oral bacteria and strengthen the immune system. You can find fermented vegetables at a grocery store or a health food store, or you can try making them yourself.

7. Salt Water

Gargling with warm salt water is a quick and easy home remedy for oral thrush. Salt water creates a hostile environment for the fungus. Simply combine a teaspoon of Celtic grey sea salt in a glass of warm water. Gargle for about a minute, then spit it out. Do this three times daily until oral thrush is controlled.

8. Apple Cider Vinegar

A study published in the Journal of Prosthodontics in 2015 (5) showed that apple cider vinegar had antifungal properties against Candida. Mix two teaspoons of raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar with a half-teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water.

Use this natural thrush treatment to rinse your mouth multiple times daily until the oral thrush problem has resolved. You can also drink a glass of water with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar before every meal.

9. Baking Soda and Vinegar

If you want to know how to cure thrush, but you don’t want to break the bank doing it, why not try baking soda? This is an inexpensive and effective home remedy for oral thrush. In a study published in the journal Brazilian Oral Research in 2009 (6), researchers found that 5% sodium bicarbonate is effective at reducing Candida albicans.

Rinse a half-teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water twice daily. Nursing mothers with thrush on the nipples can also benefit from applying a combination of one teaspoon of baking soda, white distilled vinegar, and eight ounces of water to the infected area.

10. Other Essential Oils

Besides tea tree and cinnamon oil, there are also several other antibacterial and antimicrobial essential oils that can help you get rid of candidiasis. For instance, a 2012 study published in the Asian Journal of Tropical Biomedicine (7) found that an herbal toothpaste with myrrh reduced inflammation, stimulated immunity, and exhibited antifungal activity.

Other effective essential oils against oral thrush include oregano, helichrysum, clove, peppermint, rose, jasmine, chamomile, and lavender.

oral thrush remedies


Other Remedies

Other home remedies for thrush include milk thistle, caprylic acid, colloidal silver, pau d’arco tea, wormwood, rosemary, Oregon grape, barberry, goldenseal, goldthread, propolis, Echinacea, gentian root, grapefruit seed extract, fennel, ginger, coriander, cardamom, turmeric, betaine HCL, and digestive enzymes.

Homeopathic remedies such as candida albicans preparation and mercurius solubilis have also been used to treat oral thrush. Stevia leaf powder is also a good sugar alternative.

Homemade Toothpaste for Oral Thrush

Combine some of the ingredients below to make an oral thrush–fighting toothpaste.

Homemade Toothpaste for Oral Thrush

Proper oral hygiene is important in the treatment of oral thrush.


  • ½ cup virgin coconut oil
  • 2–3 tbsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp stevia powder
  • 15 drops cinnamon essential oil
  • 10 drops myrrh essential oil (optional)


  • Melt coconut oil in a pot on low heat.
  • Mix and stir in other ingredients, and put mixture in a small glass jar. Cool it completely in the refrigerator.

Oral Thrush Prevention Tips

Want to know more about how to get rid of oral thrush naturally? Make sure you see your dentist on a regular basis and check your Candida levels with a naturopath. Your natural thrush treatment and prevention protocol should also include:

  • Brush your teeth: It’s a good idea to get into the routine of brushing your gums and teeth after meals, not just when you get up and/or go to bed. This ensures that food doesn’t get stuck on the tongue. Also, floss daily, but if you can’t manage that, then a few times a week should do.
  • Scrape your tongue: It’s incredibly important to scrape away fungus, bacteria, and other debris from the tongue. And don’t brush your tongue with your toothbrush, either. Use a metal or copper tongue scraper after brushing your teeth, at least twice a day.
  • Use herbal mouthwash: A natural mouthwash can also help. This may include essential oils such as cinnamon, lavender, eucalyptus, thyme, and peppermint.
  • Avoid certain foods: Certain foods and substances can feed Candida, including sugar, processed starches such as bread and cereal, and beer and wine, so it’s a good idea to reduce your consumption or eliminate them, at least temporarily. Also, avoid foods with mold such as dairy and mushrooms, and nuts such as pistachios and cashews.
  • Avoid smoking: Smokers have a greater chance of developing oral thrush.

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