Maggie Hira

Mouth thrush is a painful oral infection caused by Candida albicans, a type of fungus that also causes yeast infections. It most often occurs in young children and babies, older adults, and those suffering from HIV infection or cancer. It's characterized by raised white lesions on the tongue and inner cheeks that can be quite painful and even bleed. In rare cases, the infection may spread down the esophagus leading to a high fever and other complications.

Suck on a sugar-free popsicle. A cold popsicle can soothe the discomfort of mouth thrush for up to several minutes. The cooling sensation numbs the pain. An affordable tip: pour some of your favorite sugar-free juice (dilute with water if it's too thick) into an ice cube tray then suck on the ice cubes instead of a popsicle. Also, try just sucking on a regular ice cube for the same numbing effect without the flavor. Sugar will feed the yeast in the infection, but sugar-free popsicles and juice are safe.

Take over-the-counter pain medications. Pain medicine like Advil or Tylenol can help ease the pain of mouth thrush for up to several hours. If the pain is extremely severe, ask your doctor for a prescription for a more potent pain medication, such as Vicodin.

Eat small amounts of sugar-free fruit sorbet throughout the day. Like the popsicle or ice cubes, fruit sorbet also offers a pleasant cooling sensation to dull the pain of mouth thrush.

Steep a calendula or echinacea tea bag in hot water for about a minute. Remove from the water and allow to cool. Place the tea bag in your mouth where the pain from the mouth thrush is at its worst. Calendula and echinacea are two herbs known for reducing inflammation and soothing soreness in the mouth.

Use baking soda to ease the pain of mouth thrush. Baking soda is known for its pain-soothing qualities. Mix a teaspoon of baking soda with lukewarm water. Slosh the mixture in your mouth for at least 30 seconds then spit out. Sloshing your mouth with salt-water works well also.


Avoid spicy and acidic foods (like citrus fruits) that will only exacerbate the pain.

Avoid eating too many dairy products; they also feed the yeast in the infection.