Thrush in Sjögren’s

People with Sjögren’s syndrome are at increased risk of developing oral thrush. Symptoms of this include mouth or tongue burning, intolerance to spicy foods, or splitting in the corners of the mouth. The appearance of thrush in a dry mouth patient often is atypical and appears as red and irritated instead of the typical white cottage-cheesy. The tongue may show grooves, and the corners of the lips appear red and crusty.

Here are some tips to help with those suffering from thrush:

  • Schedule regular professional care and follow-up
  • Treat the underlying condition of dry mouth
  • Practice excellent oral hygiene
  • Change your toothbrush frequently when oral candidiasis is active
  • Increase oral moisture through use of sugar-free gum, lozenges, and artificial salivas
  • Sip water frequently and rinse after eating or drinking if you can’t brush
  • If any of your medications list dryness as a side effect, talk with your doctor about alternatives
  • Limit sugar and foods that contain yeast, such as wine, beer and bread
  • Increase intake of acidophilus through unsweetened yogurts with live lactobacillus acidophilus or capsules
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol, both of which can increase dryness
  • Don’t use mouthwashes containing alcohol
  • If you smoke – Stop!
  • Clean dental prostheses every day with an anti-fungal preparation and avoid wearing them at night
  • Talk to your dentist about prescription therapies available to help with oral candidiasis. Sometimes a combination of treatments is necessary if the problem is severe
  • For maintenance once thrush is under control, discuss with your dentist frequent use of a mouthwash with diphenhydramine, nystatin and Maalox. A chlorhexidine gluconate rinse can also be helpful
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