Is thrush on the tongue painful

Oral thrush

Oral thrush(Mouth fungus, thrush): yeast infection of the oral mucosa and tongue. Yeasts (typically of the genus Candida albicans) are a natural part of the Oral flora, however, they are usually kept in check by the defense cells in the mouth and throat and by bacteria. When the natural balance of the oral flora is upset, the fungi multiply explosively and lead to a permanent whitish lawn on the oral mucosa or tongue. Later the affected areas become inflamed and painful. The therapy is local and highly effective. If the cause is not eliminated, relapses are programmed.

Leading complaints

  • Whitish, non-wipeable deposits on the oral mucosa and tongue
  • Pain when eating and drinking.

When to the doctor

The next day, if the oral mucosa changes noticeably.

The illness

The thrush coating is a whitish, flat coating that can initially be wiped off, but later adheres to the affected areas. If you remove it anyway, the affected area will bleed.

Thrush occurs mainly in people with weakened immune systems such as young children, the elderly and people with immunodeficiency diseases such as AIDS. In the elderly, ill-fitting prostheses are often the root of the problem. Otherwise healthy people are particularly at risk from antibiotic or cortisone treatment. These treatments destroy both the disease-causing as well as the normal, healthy bacteria in the body and mess up the oral flora.

Treated in good time, thrush is usually harmless. If left untreated, it threatens to spread to the esophagus with severe pain in swallowing (thrush esophagitis). In the long term, thrush can lead to the destruction of the oral flora - with the result that undesirable bacteria (which, for example, cause tooth decay or periodontitis) multiply. In addition, there is weight loss and even dehydration because the affected person eats and drinks too little due to the pain when chewing and swallowing.

The doctor does that

By examining the oral cavity, the doctor usually determines whether it is thrush. To confirm his diagnosis, he can take a smear and examine it under the microscope or send it to a laboratory.

The fungal infestation is contained with antifungal lozenges or mouthwashes (with nystatin or Amphomoronal, e.g. in Amphotericin-B Lozenges® or Ampho-Moronal® suspension). This gives the oral flora a chance to regain its balance. After rinsing the mouth, the solution is swallowed to treat any infection of the esophagus. The active ingredients are harmless, they are not absorbed by the organism and are excreted unchanged through the intestine.

Complementary medicine

Herbal medicine. Brushing the oral mucosa with myrrh (e.g. Inspirol®, myrrh tincture "Hetterich®") or ratanhia tincture (e.g. Ratiosept® mouth and throat tincture) has a disinfectant effect should be at least an hour.

Homeopathy. Homeopathy recommends, among other things. Acidum hydrochloricum, Borax, Kalium chloratum, Mercurius solubilis or Thuja.

The incorrect colonization of the mouth and intestines with yeast is considered by many alternative practitioners and naturopaths to be a basic problem of our civilized diet. Correspondingly, abnormal fatigue, decreased performance, flatulence and irritable bowel symptoms are associated with yeast. A complex fungal diagnosis helps to prove the fungal infestation in the intestine. Since yeasts multiply fastest in the presence of sugar, patients are required to avoid foods containing sugar in addition to local therapy for a long time.

From a scientific point of view, this way of thinking is incomprehensible: On the one hand, mushrooms are simply part of our evolutionary baggage and have colonized the mucous membranes of humans thousands of years ago. On the other hand, a sugar-free diet is practically impossible, after all, starch and other carbohydrates are broken down into sugar by the oral enzymes during intensive chewing in the mouth.

An attempt at therapy can certainly be considered, after all, many patients undoubtedly benefit from an appropriate diet that also takes a step towards full nutrition.


Dr. med. dent. Gisbert Hennessen; Thilo Machotta, Dr. med. Arne Schäffler in: Gesundheit heute, edited by Dr. med. Arne Schäffler. Trias, Stuttgart, 3rd edition (2014). Revision and update: Dr. med. Sonja Kempinski | last changed on at 16:22

Important note: This article has been written according to scientific standards and has been checked by medical professionals. The information communicated in this article can in no way replace professional advice in your pharmacy. The content cannot and must not be used to make independent diagnoses or to start therapy.