Is Thrush Contagious

? Not As We May Think

By: - Health & Fitness - May 24, 2011
is thrush contagious

Just whisper the word “thrush” and anxiety overcomes many people.

Going through their heads is the common question … Is thrush contagious?

The answer appears to be NO. Certainly not in the way ordinary people think of contagious.

But people are not lining up to kiss someone who has thrush on their tongue, even when there is deep love between the two individuals.

This may have as much to do with appearances as it does with the fear of contagion.

Thrush and Its Symptoms

As described by the U.S. National Institute of Health, thrush is a yeast infection of the mucus membrane lining of the mouth and tongue.

The condition is caused by the Candida fungus, a small amount of which is always present in a person’s mouth. The natural immune system keeps it under control.

If the immune system weakens, the fungus is able to grow and produces thrush sores in the mouth and thrush on the tongue.

Factors that can contribute to the condition include steroid medications, HIV infection or AIDS, chemotherapy, drugs that suppress the immune system after an organ transplant, age (very young or very old), and poor health.

Those with diabetes and high blood sugar level have a higher incidence of oral thrush. High doses of antibiotics or long-term intake of antibiotics also pose a danger. In addition, dentures that don’t fit properly are yet another cause.

Thrush presents itself as white lesions in the mouth and on the tongue. Underneath is red tissue that may bleed.

Diagnosis and Treatment

It can usually be diagnosed visually since there is a distinct appearance. If there is any uncertainty, various tests can be done to confirm the presence of Candida.

While it may be painful when present in babies, treatment is generally unnecessary. If antibiotics are suspected as the cause, a mild sufferer can eat yogurt or take acidophilus capsules. Rinsing the mouth with a diluted 3% hydrogen peroxide solution is helpful. Diabetics should control their blood sugar levels.

If the condition persists in an infant for two weeks, it is important to visit the doctor. Adults can usually expect it to be cured unless there is a related immune system problem.

So, back to the original question … Is thrush contagious?

Once again, the answer is no, but this time with a caveat.

It can be passed back and forth in cases where a woman is breastfeeding an infant. It starts with a baby having thrush on the tongue and the mother developing the condition on her breast.

There exists a possibility that thrush can be spread to another part of the body, but when asked is thrush contagious, the accurate response is in the negative.