Candida is a fungus which is present in the body but is kept under check due to the presence of useful bacteria in the body. On administration of strong antibiotics, which are meant to control infections, the useful bacteria in the body are also destroyed. This in turn results in the growth and spread of candida infection in the oral cavity.
What are the Causes of White Spots on Tongue
The mechanism of growth and spread of oral candidiasis is simple. Under normal condition, the body has certain useful bacteria which grow and proliferate in the body and are beneficial in the various processes like digestion and assimilation of the food we consume. When strong antibiotics, specifically meant to control staphylococcus infections are administered, these antibiotics tend to kill all bacteria, including the useful bacteria. As a result of destruction of all bacteria, the fungi (Candida) have no competition for nutrients and this results in the growth and proliferation of the fungi.
Further, the immune system of newborns and infants is not adequately developed. Since they receive all their immunoglobulin from breast milk, infants not having access to breast milk, tend to suffer from candida infection.
In adults, good or useful bacteria create an acidic environment, which in turn prevent the growth of fungi. However in infants due to lack of lactobacillus bacteria, the environment tends to remain slightly alkaline, which also prompts the growth of candida fungi and results in white spots on the tongue.
It is important to differentiate between milk patches and white spots on the tongue due to candida infection. Milk spots are also observed inside the lips and cheeks, gums and on the tongue; however these patches tend to come and go, unlike an oral thrush which remains for a few weeks. Also, milk spots can be removed with ease by just wiping them off with your finger, however oral thrush is difficult to remove and may also result in bleeding if attempts are made to scrape it away. Thush is also common in infants that are fed bottled milk which increases the risk of yeast infection.
Home Remedies for Treating White Patches on Tongue
Here are a few simple tips for management of white spots on the tongue
- Local application of gention violet cotton swabs can be beneficial in management of oral thrush
- Local application of raw honey is considered beneficial. Honey is a strong anti-microbial and helps in elimination of the fungal infection. Applying a paste of honey and turmeric makes a more potent anti-microbial solution.
- Local application of freshly squeezed lemon juice has been found to be of help. Lemon juice enhances the immunity and is also loaded with Vitamin C which is a strong anti-oxidant and helps destroy some of the fungal growths.