If you’re a parent, you might already know what thrush is and how to treat it in babies. However, you might be one of the fortunate parents that has never experienced thrush with your newborn or infant. Therefore, you don’t know what exactly to expect, what it is, or how to handle it. Thrush is an exceptionally common issue in newborns and infants. It targets the mouth and causes a minor irritation in and around it. In simple terms, thrush is a yeast infection that occurs in or around a baby’s mouth. This leads many parents to ask whether or not thrush smells when it affects a child.
The good news about oral thrush is that it does not have a scent. You will not notice a smell coming from your baby’s mouth if and when he or she develops this infection. However, you will notice several other symptoms. For example, if you are a breast feeding parent, you might notice that your nipples become sore and red. This could indicate that your child has thrush and has passed it on to you during feedings. If your child appears to have a cottage cheese-like substance in or around his or her mouth, it could be thrush. If you attempt to wipe this substance off your child’s mouth, it could cause minor bleeding. It’s nothing to worry about, but it is something to be careful with.
To prevent thrush from becoming worse or spreading, be sure and thoroughly clean everything that comes into contact with your child’s mouth. This includes your fingers, pacifiers, bottle nipples, your own nipples, and anything else in contact with his or her mouth. Something else you should know about thrush is the fact that it typically does not hurt your baby. It might be mildly uncomfortable and cause slight issues during feedings, however. If it is uncomfortable for your little one, he or she might show signs of difficultly latching on during bottle and/or breast feedings.
Does Baby Thrush Cause Bad Breath?
Baby thrush does not cause bad breath. Typically, thrush is an oral infection that does not present any pain or many symptoms at all. Bad breath is not something you have to worry about with a newborn who suffers from thrush. What thrush will cause your baby to have includes small white patches in and around the mouth. There are no other symptoms or signs, though some babies do have a little trouble sucking if their mouths are sore from a particularly difficult case of thrush.
If your newborn has bad breath, it is not caused by thrush. However, you might want to explore other causes of bad breath to ensure your child is not at risk for something else. Since babies have no teeth in which food particles can become stuck, bad breath is not a common occurrence as it is in older children and adults. One reason your infant could have bad breath is nothing to worry about. It’s caused by dry mouth. This occurs in children who breathe with their mouths open. This dries out their mouths and makes it possible for bacteria to grow without interruption, which causes foul smelling breath. Another cause could be reflux. Children who suffer from reflux tend to have slightly bad breath because of the sheer amount of formula, breast milk, and acid they regurgitate.
If your baby has bad breath as a result of reflux, you can talk to your pediatrician about different ways to remedy his or her reflux. It’s highly uncomfortable for babies and can make it difficult on you as a parent. If your baby has thrush, it’s also a good idea to speak with your doctor regarding potential remedies.
Does Baby Thrush Go Away?
Baby thrush isn’t painful for most babies. Baby thrush also doesn’t really affect babies in any way, except a few experience a minor issue sucking when eating due to discomfort. Since thrush is relatively painless and symptom free, most parents don’t even realize their infants and newborns are suffering from the infection. For this reason, many parents forgo treatment. Others simply hope that it will go away on its own. Thrush can go away on its own, but if you aren’t helping it go away, it will come back repeatedly.
If you want thrush to go away, you have to do a little work. While it might go away on its own, the bacteria that causes the infection is still located on a number of items that your baby puts into his or her mouth, which can cause the infection to come back often. Breast feeding mothers can obtain thrush from their babies. This means your nipples will become very red and even sore. If you have thrush, your baby can catch it from you. You will need to either express breast milk and feed your baby through a bottle or use formula until your own thrush clears up to prevent passing it back and forth repeatedly. Additionally, the bacteria that causes thrush thrives on pacifiers and other toys or teething rings your child often sucks on.
To ensure that thrush does go away on its own, your job is to thoroughly clean any and everything your child puts into his or her mouth. Do this with warm water and gentle baby soap each time your little one places something in his or her mouth. This clean off the bacteria so that it’s not present the next time your child begins to suck on it. This can help to prevent the recurrence of thrush.
One more aspect of thrush to think about is the fact that it can spread to other body parts, potentially causing yeast infections and/or diaper rash in babies and their mothers. It’s not too common for this to occur in just anyone. It’s more likely to spread when a baby or mom has a weakened immune system due to illness or other health conditions.