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a doctor looks into a man's mouth

Also known as oral candidiasis, oral thrush is caused by an overgrowth of yeast in the mouth. It’s most commonly found in babies and cancer patients, but others can get it, too.

Candida albicans is the most common fungus in the oral microbiome. When it grows to unhealthy levels, it can form white or yellow patches of bumps on the tongue, inner cheeks, gums, or lips. Root causes include a high-sugar diet, antibiotic use, and mouth breathing, says family and sleep-medicine dentist Mark Burhenne, DDS.

“If high candida is a problem in the mouth (or in the gut), you can lower it by cutting foods out of your diet that are high in fungus, such as bread, cheese, beer, corn, and nuts,” explains integrative and functional-medicine researcher Cass Nelson-Dooley, MS.

An anti-candida diet minimizes sugar, starch, mushrooms, and vinegar.

Studies also show that Saccharomyces boulardii, a probiotic yeast that can be taken as a supplement, is effective in combating candida overgrowth.

This was excerpted from “What Your Mouth Is Trying to Tell You” which was published in Experience Life magazine.

Mo Perry

Mo Perry is a freelance writer and actor in Minneapolis.

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