Tongue fungus: symptoms, treatment, and methods of prevention

Tongue fungus: symptoms, treatment, and methods of prevention

May 7, 2024


Tongue fungus is a common phenomenon that may affect the health of the mouth and respiratory system, as it is a condition that affects many people, and causes a lot of inconvenience and stress and this condition is characterized by the proliferation of fungi on the surface of the tongue, leading to the appearance of white or cream cotton-like spots, as its symptoms vary from mild to annoying, and you may need effective treatment to get rid of it completely and in this article, we will explore what these fungi are, their causes, and symptoms, in addition to the appropriate preventive and therapeutic measures to overcome them and maintain overall oral and body health.


What is tongue fungus?

Tongue and mouth fungal infections are common phenomena that may cause slightly raised, cottage cheese-like white patches that can appear on the tongue, throat, or inside of the cheeks and this condition, known as oral thrush infection, is caused by a type of fungus known as Candida and this fungus lives naturally in several areas of the body, such as the skin, mouth, intestines, and vagina, without causing any problems, however, if immunity is weakened, these fungi may grow abnormally and cause infection, making them more common in infants, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems and although tongue thrush may not cause symptoms most of the time, it may cause pain and redness in the mouth in some cases and provided the immune system is healthy, oral thrush is a minor problem and often goes away soon after treatment begins.

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Reasons for the appearance of fungi on the tongue

  • Taking some medications that weaken the immune system, such as chemotherapy and radiation.
  • Using inhaled steroids to treat asthma attacks.
  • Immunosuppressive drugs in some autoimmune diseases.
  • Excessive use of antibiotics.
  • Medical conditions that cause weak immunity, such as cancer and diabetes.
  • Hypothyroidism.
  • Iron and vitamin B12 deficiency.
  • Behavioral factors such as smoking and poor oral hygiene.
  • Wearing dentures.
  • Having a medical condition that causes dry mouth.
  • Increased risk of tongue and mouth fungi in infants and the elderly.

فطريات اللسان
فطريات اللسان

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Symptoms of tongue fungus infection

Symptoms of tongue thrush may include:

  • The appearance of raised white or white spots on the surface of the tongue, similar in appearance to cheese or curdled milk.
  • Redness and swelling in the tissue surrounding the white spots.
  • Itching of the tongue or mouth.
  • A burning sensation or pain in the mouth.
  • Difficulty swallowing or tasting.
  • Swelling of the gums or throat.
  • Bad breath.
  • Symptoms may be mild at first and become more severe over time if tongue thrush is not treated.
  • Methods of treating tongue fungus
  • Antifungal rinses: Use oral rinses that contain antifungal ingredients such as chlorhexidine or nystatin, and use them as directed by your doctor.
  • Oral antifungal medications: Doctors can prescribe oral antifungal medications such as fluconazole or itraconazole to treat tongue thrush.
  • Home procedures: Home procedures such as rubbing the tongue with a toothbrush or a special tongue comb can be applied to remove white spots. It is also recommended to brush your teeth regularly and use dental floss to maintain oral hygiene.
  • Changing daily habits: Factors that increase the chances of developing tongue fungus, such as smoking, taking excessive antibiotics, and excessive use of rinses containing alcohol, should be avoided.
  • Improve nutrition: Eating foods rich in probiotics and anti-fungal foods such as fermented milk and natural yogurt can help reduce the growth of fungi in the mouth.
  • Medical consultation: If symptoms persist or worsen, it is recommended to visit a doctor to evaluate the condition and direct appropriate treatment, as the person may need a prescription to effectively treat tongue fungus infection.

Ways to prevent tongue fungus

  • Maintaining oral hygiene: It is recommended to brush teeth regularly and use dental floss daily to remove food residues and germs that contribute to the growth of fungi.
  • Limit the use of antibiotics: Antibiotics should be used with caution according to the doctor’s instructions, and avoid excessive use, as inappropriate use of antibiotics can lead to a change in the natural balance of bacteria in the mouth and increase the chances of developing tongue fungus.
  • Avoid factors that cause infection: You should avoid known factors that contribute to increasing the chances of developing tongue fungus, such as smoking, eating a lot of sugar, and using rinses that contain alcohol excessively.
  • Eat healthy food: You should eat a balanced diet that contains fruits, vegetables, healthy proteins, and whole grains, while avoiding excessive intake of sugars and sugar-processed products.
  • Maintaining oral dryness: You must maintain mouth moisture by drinking sufficient amounts of water and avoiding factors that cause dehydration, such as smoking and consuming large amounts of alcohol.
  • Periodic examination of the mouth: It is necessary to perform routine examinations of the mouth and teeth to detect any early health problems, including tongue fungus infection, as it is important to contact the doctor if any symptoms appear, such as white spots on the tongue or persistent pain in the mouth.

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