Fungus (Candida) in the pharynx in children
Candida in the pharynx of infants and children is a very common subject in pediatrics, which disturbs the peace of many parents, often unjustly …
Please note that this chapter is not about Candida in the buttocks which is part of the topic diaper rash in children and certainly not about Candida elsewhere in the body, only about the Oral thrush.
So what is Candida and how did it get into the child’s mouth?
Candida is a common fungus that lives in all of us on the skin and pharynx. There are many types of candidacies, but the different types are really not important at this point for us.
I mean it’s not a big trick to have Candida in the pharynx. Both you and I currently have Candida in the pharynx.
But in some situations, see below, the amount of Candida in the pharynx increases and it can cause discomfort to the child.
What is the prevalence of oral fungus (oral candidiasis) and what are the risk factors?
Clear infection of the oral cavity is observed in 2-5% of healthy babies and can develop as early as about a week after birth.
On the other hand, there are clear and common risk factors for overgrowth of Candida in the oral cavity, including:
Antibiotic treatment – Many women are familiar with the phenomenon of when they take antibiotic treatment for one reason or another, Vulvovaginal candidiasis appears. The same thing happens with children who receive antibiotics, the natural balance of the flora (all bacteria and fungi that normally live in peace and brotherhood) in the oral cavity is violated, and Candida "raises its head" and thrives.
Use of inhalations or inhalers – as written In the chapter on inhalations / inhalers This is a risk factor for the development of oral fungus, mainly due to the deposition of steroids in the oral cavity. A great way to avoid this is to rinse your mouth or give something to drink after each treatment.
Sore throat – naturally we produce and swallow saliva and the abundance of bacteria and fungi in the oral cavity live peacefully. When children have a sore throat and they do not swallow saliva, Candida may thrive. I see it mostly after herpes in the pharyngeal cavity, but it can be seen in any disease where the child has had pain in swallowing and has not eaten or drank.
Clearly there are other risk factors, most notably immunosuppression, but these conditions are unfortunately reserved for populations of children suffering from chronic diseases.
What does oral fungus in children look like?
Typical white spots in the pharynx, palate, on the surface of the tongue and sometimes on the lips. A skilled pediatrician will know how to differentiate between Candida and other types of pharyngeal contaminants. The Appearance is a Appearance like that of chalk at times.
See the photos attached to this chapter. In the first picture a relatively thick white coating on the tongue, in the second picture Candida on the palate and in the third picture Candida on the lips.
Do you need special tests for a diagnosis?
Definately not. Looking at an experienced mom or doctor is enough.
Does it necessarily cause any clinic in the child?
Although it is sometimes difficult to know (especially in infants), a Candida infection will not always result in a particular clinic in the child.
If there is a clinic it can include discomfort, pain especially when eating and decreased appetite.
What is the treatment?
I mention that you do not always need treatment. I see a lot of babies with a little Candida on the tongue and most of the time it does not justify treatment. Other examples of children for whom I would not recommend treatment:
If the child has already completed antibiotic treatment and a small amount of candida appears – it does not necessarily need to be treated. The very end of antibiotic treatment will rebalance the oral cavity and the candida will stop thriving.
If the child has already recovered from a sore throat (bacterial or viral) and returned to eating and drinking, the candida will usually go away on its own.
But if there is a clear clinic or if the candida is seen everywhere in the oral cavity, including the palate and cheek area from the inside, treatment may be considered.
If you want to address these principles:
- Stop, if possible the cause of Candida. Treat sore throat, reduce unnecessary antibiotic treatments and rinse mouth with water after inhaling steroids.
- If possible, return the baby / child to normal eating. This is an excellent recipe against Candida.
- Topical treatment of the pharynx – There are several preparations that treat Candida in the oral cavity. The most practical for me is Doctrine Oral Gel . The doctrine should be applied to the mouth of the baby or child, a finger can be used. You can also put the gel on the pacifier. In breastfed babies, the gel can also be applied to the nipple.
In conclusion, a very common condition in pediatrics. Does not always justify treatment, but justifies familiarity and thinking and in some cases appropriate treatment can help.