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Thrush

 

This a Monillia yeast infection which is common in babies and which causes white spots on your child’s tongue or the inside of his or her cheeks.
Sometimes thrush happens after your child has taken antibiotics.
It may bother the infant to suck on the bottle or the breast because of the irritation in the mouth that goes along with thrush.

Thrush is everyone's mouth, intestines, and adult woman's vagina.  The yeast and bacteria in the infant's mouth keep each in balance.  You will see some white area on the back half of every infants tongue.  We are cleaner with infants so occasionally it overgrows since there are less bacteria.  It will get out to the tip of the toungue and inside the lips and cheeks.  Then there is too much and you need to call the doctor for Nystatin medicine.  If it is just on the back half of the tongue, then ignore it.  It is not really contageous since it is in the mouth of every infant. 

For example, if an adult woman takes a broad spectrum antibiotic, they get a yeast infection.  They did not catch it from someone.  It was already there.  The antibiotic killed the good bacteria and the yeast over grow. 

So the baby has it already.  It tends to over grow since we are more sterile or clean with infants and when the baby is older and goes out and eats everything, then this will not be a problem..  So you do not not have to sterilize nipples and such like they recommended a long time ago.  In fact being more sterile can make it worse.  If the mom is healty, then kiss them on the lips and put your healthy bacteria in their mouth and it will be less of a problem.  (Like we have to tell a mom to kiss her baby???)  

Nystatin suspension is the prescription medicine that is used to treat thrush.  Nystatin should be applied four times a day to the white areas inside of each cheek and/or on the tongue. Apply the nystatin after feeding your baby so that it is not washed away when you feed the baby. Rub the medicine in gently with your finger. Continue the nystatin for 48 hours after all of the white spots have gone away from the lips and cheeks.

You may also treat the thrush with Gentian Violet if you can find some in a drug store.  You paint the mouth purple one time and after it wears off after a day or so, the thrush will be nearly gone. This can be repeated once every week for 2 or 3 times.

Call if the thrush is not better after 10 days or it is getting worse with treatment.

Roger Knapp MD

See my video on this.