Candida albicans is normally found on skin and mucus membranes of gastrointestinal and genitourinary tracts. It is relatively harmless in small numbers and its numbers are kept in check by the friendly organisms like Lactobacillus. When there is a change in balance of these organisms in the mouth, Candida can grow exponentially resulting in overgrowth and causing yeast infection of the tongue, also known as oral thrush. The yeast infection causes the tongue to acquire a typical white coating. Sometimes, the yeast infection may cause the tongue to become red without the white coating. When the coating is wiped off, the underlying red tissue is revealed. If the yeast infection reaches the esophagus, there may be pain and difficulty in swallowing. Other symptoms that may indicate a yeast infection include a craving for sugar, alcohol, or bread; digestive problems; fatigue; depression; and muscle or joint pains.
Yeast infection of the tongue is generally found in infants or old people. Predisposing factors could be a serious underlying disease, such as cancer or HIV infection, diabetes, dry mouth due to disease of the salivary glands or medications like antihistamines, antidepressants, and diuretics, ill-fitting or unclean dentures, smoking, nutritional deficiencies of iron or vitamin B, inhaled corticosteroids used in the treatment of asthma, or overzealous use of antibiotics.
Tongue yeast infection is easy to treat and treatment should be started immediately the diagnosis is confirmed to prevent the infection from reaching other parts of the body. Vitamins and acidophilus are immediately prescribed along with an anti-Candida diet and antifungals like nystatin, ketoconazole, candicidin, or Amphotericin B. natural remedies include grapefruit seed extract, capricin tea, grape seed oil, and gentian. The anti-Candida diet strictly excludes alcohol, sugar, white flour, and refined or processed carbohydrates. Fruit, milk, as well as dried, fermented foods are best avoided. Oral hygiene is extremely important. Floss teeth regularly and sterilize toothbrush in household hydrogen peroxide or 70 percent alcohol for a few minutes to prevent re-contamination. Discarding old toothbrush every month is also recommended. Taking probiotic Lactobacillus acidophilus is safe and inexpensive.
Generally not serious but yeast infection of the tongue could be a sign of systemic Candidiasis. Candidiasis is a complex disease and left untreated can cause widespread damage. It manifests itself in myriad different ways and taking antifungal medications is harmful and not very effective in the long run. To permanently rid the body of yeast overgrowth, it is best to visit a holistic medicine practitioner who will chart out a treatment program depending on your lifestyle, symptoms, mental makeup, and habits.