Oral Candidiasis

“Dear Doctor,

I have a problem that I cannot seem to find a solution for on the internet, and do not know if a dentist should see it or not. Every once in a while (about every other month), for a few days I get a strange metallic taste in my mouth. My tongue usually swells up and some filmy stuff shows up on it. I cannot get rid of it, it seems like the more I scrub away there is more coming up, too. This usually lasts a couple of days and my mouth is really sore, and then it goes away. I also get a tingling sensation in the gums and on a tooth that was previously root canaled when this happens. There is no bleeding and no pain, just a kind of deep itching feeling. What is this that I have? Is it serious? Does it need to be seen by a professional?

Thanks in advance,

Ashley”

candidiasis

Dear Ashley,

The problem you have is called oral candidiasis. It is a fungal infection much like a yeast infection, except that it is in your mouth. You are not experiencing any serious problems because you take good care of your teeth. Oral candidiasis is caused by the same variety of candida that causes oral thrush in infants. But since you have a healthy immune system, it helps and suppresses the fungus, and ti can only have little break outs every once in a while.

The metallic taste in the mouth, the itching, the unremovable white layer, you have a classic and undisputable case of oral candidiasis. What you need to do is go and see a dentist immediately. If you have the chance of going and seeing one today, do so. You need to start taking an anti-fungal medication as soon as humanly possible, as this infection will keep on coming back until you finally deal with it. The problem with bacteria and fungus is that it is very sneaky. Even if you gargle with salt water or apply vinegar to the area, the fungus itself may seem to die, but really it is just going back into your soft tissues and hiding there. Only taking medication can get rid of the fungus, and you need to start doing it.

Having a fungal infection puts you at great risk for getting other infections, taxes your immune system, and you risk getting fungus in your bloodstream travelling all about your body. Other opportunistic infections will start to make your life miserable sooner than later, and all of this completely unnecessarily. You can handle the problem you have with a 2 week, tops 1 month antibiotic treatment. I suggest you do so before the infection becomes worse, or starts to become permanent.

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