The body shelters a large number of bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Some of them are harmless, while some are harmful. The harmless microbes and the immune system of the body together keep a check on the population of the pathogenic microbes. When this balance gets disturbed, the pathogenic micro-organisms come into action and create havoc. One such example is that of fungus in the mouth. When the fungal population increases beyond an optimum limit, it causes infection in the mouth. It is known as oral thrush. The common parts of the mouth that can develop fungal infection are tongue and gum.
What are the Causes?
When the normal balance of micro-organisms in the mouth gets disturbed and the population of fungus grows beyond the optimum limit, fungus on tongue occurs. The most common fungus that grows its colonies and cause fungal infection of the tongue is Candida albicans. Imbalance in the microbial population occurs when either the immune system of one's body has been weakened or the bacterial population that normally keeps a check on the fungal population declines. The reasons behind a poor immune system can be malnutrition, disease conditions like cancer, HIV/AIDS, diabetes mellitus, etc. The cause for decrease in the count of helpful bacteria in the mouth is over or prolonged intake of antibiotics.
How to Identify it?
One should take a look at their tongue. Then, he/she should observe whether there are any white patches on it. If they are present, then try to scrape the white patch off the tongue. If one finds red tissues beneath it, then he/she may be affected by tongue fungus. One should visit a doctor, who would conduct some diagnostic tests like microscopic examinations and culturing of the sample from the affected person's tongue to confirm the fungal infection.
How to Get Rid of it?
Fungal infection needs to be treated on time as it may spread to the throat and esophagus, and thus, can complicate the condition. The most effective way to get rid of this condition is by strengthening the immune system of the body. One should follow a healthy diet that is rich in vitamins, minerals, and proteins. Eating healthy would definitely improve the immunity over time. This would not only treat this condition but would also prevent it from occurring in the future. If one is taking any antibiotic, then he/she should stop it. If one needs the antibiotic, then it is better to consult a medical professional for advice. The increase in the population of useful bacteria helps in keeping a check on the fungal population. Another way of increasing the population of helpful bacteria in the mouth, in order to bring down the fungal count is to eat yogurt on a regular basis. Yogurt has high content of probiotics. Eating a cup of it daily is believed to relieve one of this condition.
Smoking can hinder the natural process of healing of this condition. Therefore, one should try their level best to quit smoking. It is believed that eating garlic can restore the healthy balance of microbes in the body, including the mouth. One should increase the intake of garlic in the diet. As mentioned above, one is more susceptible to tongue fungus if he/she is diabetic or wears dentures. In both these conditions, one needs to maintain high level of dental hygiene. One should brush their teeth and clean their tongue twice a day. One should also floss the teeth at least once a day. Furthermore, one should get their teeth cleaned from a dentist twice a year.
Following the aforementioned remedies might prove beneficial in treating and preventing this condition in the future. In order to get fast cure, one can take over-the-counter antifungal medicines. One should monitor the condition of the tongue for about a week. If he/she is satisfied with the improvement, then one can continue following the same remedies. It would help in foreclosing this problem. In case the condition still persists and there is no improvement, one should pay a visit to a medical practitioner for the necessary intervention.
Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.