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Thrush - What Increases Your Risk

There are several things that can increase your risk for getting thrush.

Age

  • Newborns and infants don't have fully developed immune systems, which increases their risk of developing infections, including thrush.
  • Newborns are also in the process of developing a healthy balance of bacteria and fungi in their mouths. If this balance is upset, the child may develop thrush.
  • Older adults, especially those who have serious health problems, are more likely to develop thrush, because their immune systems are likely to be weaker.

Behavior

  • The yeast that causes thrush can be spread by oral sex.
  • Heavy smoking can lower the body's ability to fight off infections, making thrush more likely to develop.

Other conditions

  • False teeth (dentures), braces, or a retainer that irritates the mouth make it hard to keep the mouth clean and can increase your risk for thrush. An unclean mouth is more likely to develop thrush than is a clean mouth.
  • People with a weakened immune system, such as those who have diabetes or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or who are having chemotherapy treatments, have an increased risk for thrush.

Medications

Medicines that can let the thrush yeast grow uncontrolled include:

Environment

Exposure over time to certain environmental chemicals, such as benzene and some pesticides, can weaken the body's immune system, increasing your risk for infections, including thrush.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: July 25, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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How Do I Measure Up? Get the Facts Fast!

Number of Days Per Week I Floss

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Answer:
Never
(0)
Good
(1-3)
Better
(4-6)
Best
(7)

You are currently

Only 18.5% of Americans never floss. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Floss removes food trapped between the teeth and removes the film of bacteria that forms there before it turns to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Try flossing just one tooth to get started.

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for 3 more days!

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily, but you're well on your way to making a positive impact on your teeth and gums. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for all 7 days!

Only 50.5% of Americans floss daily, and good for you that you are one of them! Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Congratulations on your good oral health habit!

SOURCES:

American Dental Association, Healthy People 2010

This tool is intended only for adults 18 and older.

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