After suffering from chronic illness for over a decade, I learned that candida was a huge cause of my medical issues. However, it was hard to diagnose and finally kill all the yeast in my body.
Candida is usually kept under control by the good bacteria in our bodies and our immune system. If you take antibiotics, are malnourished or take certain medications such as steroids or oral contraceptives, your good bacteria can be taken over by yeast and bad bacteria.
This causes the yeast to grow and cause very unpleasant symptoms in your body including your mouth. A weakened immune system due to illness (like mine), makes the mouth more susceptible to candida, unlike people with a healthy immune system who aren’t as likely to get candida.
Thrush is a common name for an infection in your mouth caused by candida. It can affect your cheeks, tongue, lips and palate, which is common with people who have a suppressed immune system. However, thrush can also develop in your mouth if you have a normally functioning immune system such as people with irritation from dentures or diabetes.
Thrush shows up with curd-like white patches inside of the mouth. You can help prevent candida in your mouth by following the below four tips.
1. Prescription drugs
Oral contraceptives, antibiotics and steroids are a main cause of candida in many people. These kill the good “friendly” bacteria in our bodies, and the bad bacteria/yeast takes over. Speak with your doctor about other options that will allow you to replenish good bacteria in your gut and kill off bad bacteria and yeast.
2. Proper nutrition
It’s important to avoid eating foods high in refined carbohydrates and sugar as well as alcohol. Start by eliminating sugar because that’s what feeds yeast. Sugar is lurking in everything from candy, tea, desserts, alcohol, flours and condiments. Reduce the amount of beans, grains, fruit, bread, pasta and potatoes in your diet because these complex carbs feed the yeast.
The goal is to starve the yeast, therefore by eating green vegetables, healthy fats such as coconut oil, olive oil, nuts and seeds as well as eggs, you can help eliminate yeast. High-quality proteins such as organic chicken, turkey and wild salmon are also great sources of food that you can include in your lifestyle.
Raw garlic and onions are great to add into your lifestyle. I recommend eliminating all fermented foods because the bad bacteria feed off of these foods as well. Eating too many fermented foods such as pickles, sauerkraut and kombucha can also cause candida.
3. Oil pulling
Swishing organic coconut oil in your mouth—called oil pulling—every morning and evening is a great way to help remove bacteria that may be lingering in your mouth. I love using coconut oil because it’s anti-microbial and may help ward off some of the yeast in your mouth.
Spit the oil out in the trash—not the sink—after you are done ‘pulling’ it. I’ve been oil pulling for two years, and I’ve seen amazing benefits with my oral candida as well as the health of my gums and teeth!