Did you know that two of the dirtiest places in your body where bacteria and fungi tend to live, are in the mouth and the anus? These areas form the entry and exit of your digestive tract. Candida yeast infections can breed readily in the mouth, throat and nasopharyngeal region (the ear, nose and throat) as well as in the large intestine and rectal area. It comes as no surprise that candida becomes a common infection of the digestive tract since the prevalence of candida yeasts in the mouth (oral cavity) can exceed 50% of the oral flora.
Oral Candidiasis – Yeast Infections of the Mouth
Oral candidiasis infections, yeast infections of the mouth, are most often recognized from symptoms such as burning and pain in the mouth or throat, fever and oral lesions. You may find a heavily coated tongue, whitish generally, and cracking around the corners of the mouth, a condition called angular stomatitis. I look for the telltale signs of a yeast infection in patients with oral or throat candidiasis, which often include cravings for sugar, alcohol, bread or other forms of carbohydrates, and I generally also expect to find some degree of fatigue, depression, muscle aches and joint pain.
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Common Causes Of Mouth and Throat Yeast Infections
There are many causes of yeast infections of the mouth, but here are the most common causes I have discovered:
- Poor dental hygiene
- People who wear dentures and especially poor fitting dentures
- People with diabetes
- People who take steroidal medications
- People with compromised immune systems (hepatitis, cancer, HIV, etc.)
- People under recurring stress (a lowered immune response)
- People who take antibiotics, or have a history of taking antibiotics
- People who smoke tobacco and drink alcohol
Candida Esophagitis – Yeast Infections of the Throat
A throat yeast infection will generally result from an oral yeast infection or fungal infection that starts in the mouth and then spreads down the esophagus (throat). Yeast infections, including candida in the throat, can affect all ages and sexes. However, those with weak immune systems seem to be at a much greater risk of developing candida esophagitis.
One of the most common symptoms of a throat yeast infection is a feeling of discomfort or burning pain experienced behind the breastbone or sternum. This can be felt either behind the upper part of the sternum where the collar bone joins or it can be felt about two or three inches lower down. The symptoms of burning or discomfort can be particularly felt when alcohol is consumed, a hot drink or sometimes even after chocolate or bread. Your doctor may just prescribe an “acid blocker” medication and tell you that it is heartburn or esophagitis.
I can highly recommend that you visit a practitioner who specializes in yeast infections; you may well have a candida yeast infection that needs treatment. This is a very common complaint and I see many middle aged patients with reflux or heartburn who have in fact a yeast infection.