As many as 80% of people have a type of naturally occurring fungi in their mouths. These fungi are known as candida albicans. If the numbers are low enough, these fungi aren’t harmful, but if their numbers get too high, it can result in a fungal infection known as glossitis.
Candida albicans are an opportunistic type of fungi. This means that they will take advantage of any type of change in the oral environment. This means that the causes of glossitis can include dry mouth, dentures, nutritional deficiencies or a recently compromised immune system. Because of its opportunistic nature, glossitis can be caused by a number of reasons.
The main sign of glossitis is a lesion that appears on the tongue. The oval-shaped lesion will be located in the middle or towards the back of the tongue and will be red in color. Because this lesion is often the only sign of glossitis, you may not even be aware that you have the fungi. If you do notice a lesion matching this description, please make an appointment to see your regular dentist.
If your dentist has confirmed that you are suffering from glossitis, he or she will prescribe antifungal medications to help fight it. Once the infection is gone, you’ll be taught how to prevent the fungal infection from returning. Glossitis prevention includes practicing good at-home oral hygiene, using antimicrobial mouthwash, and visiting your general dentist every six months for a dental cleaning and a checkup.
If you believe that you’re suffering from glossitis, it’s important to contact your general dentist to make an appointment. If you’re in need of orthodontic treatment, please don’t hesitate to call Kuhni Orthodontic Studio here in Spanish Fork, Utah.