DID you know that there are scores of micro – organisms, on the skin and in our mouth at any given point of time? That this micro – organisms, which include bacteria and fungi, are relatively common inhabitants of the oral cavity and gastrointestinal tract even in clinically unaffected persons?
Well, yes healthy or otherwise, we have hordes of these all over our body. However, the mere presence of these microorganisms is not sufficient to produce any sort of disease; they are harmless by themselves. But when certain
Situations arise, the microorganisms, especially the fungi, flare up to know about one such infection, candidiasis, its features and care.
What is candidiasis? What factors predispose to it?
Candidiasis is a fungal infection caused by a yeast-like fungus, Candida albicans, which is a normal inhabitant of the mouth. People whose immune responses have been suppressed (those with HIV infection, leukemia, malignancy), or those undergoing key hormonal changes (diabetes, pregnancy), or those on prolonged use of antibiotics (predominantly corticosteroids), or some of those wearing ill-fitting dentures are Susceptible to this malady.
This fungus causes whitish plaques on the palate, gums, tongue and the inner aspect of the cheeks. When these lesions are rubbed, the superficial white membrane disappears leaving behind a red area.
In some cases, the white lesions are firm and cannot be wiped away and in some other cases there is a diffuse swelling and redness of the entire mouth in denture wearers along with infection involving the corners of the (denture sore mouth). It can develop suddenly or can be of a long-term nature; there is no apparent age limit and women are affected more frequently than men
Diagnosis and care:
You could be totally unaware of it as the condition is relatively painless save for an occasional burning sensation. If you are not in touch with your dentist regularly, its good to get yourself checked, particularly If you happen to have any of the stimulating factors like uncomfortable dentures or been though long –drawn-out antibiotics.
Contact your physician if it turns out that you have not been following closely, which could be a possible predisposing factor. Don’t go for over – the counter anti-fungal ointment/ cream on your own; once the diagnosis is confirmed (with a biopsy), your dentist will present you with the appropriate advice and medications.
The author is dental surgeon and can be contacted at ALL SMILES DENTAL CLINIC, 26673439, 9845085230.