15 Effective Home Remedies For Oral Thrush

Clear out this infection from your mouth with apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, or essential oils.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Thomas Connelly, DDS Dr. Thomas Connelly Dr. Thomas ConnellyDDS insta_icon
Written by , MSc Shaheen Naser MSc Experience: 3 years
Edited by , BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Arshiya Syeda BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English) Dipti Sharma MA (English) Experience: 2 years

Oral thrush is a fungal infection that affects people of all ages. However, you can minimize it with a few home remedies for oral thrush. The condition mostly occurs due to a pH imbalance in your mouth and poor oral health. However, oral thrush may also indicate an underlying medical condition.

It is often treated with medications, but some home remedies can help manage the symptoms. This article lists the best home remedies for oral thrush, its causes, and prevention tips. Take a look.

What Is Oral Thrush?

Oral thrush is a fungal infection caused by Candida albicans. Candida is a yeast fungus and is always present in small amounts in the oral cavities in most individuals. However, given the right growth conditions, this fungus can multiply rapidly and cause an infection.

This infection is often characterized by the formation of a white layer that covers the entire mouth and throat (1). These lesions resemble cottage cheese and can be observed on the tongue and inner cheeks. One may even experience redness and irritation. However, oral thrush can be treated with antifungal medication and usually subsides in a week or two.

protip_icon Did You Know?
While oral thrush was first described by Hippocrates centuries ago, it was only in the 1800s that this condition was properly documented.

Besides medications, oral thrush may also be treated with certain natural remedies that we have listed below. However, consult your doctor before trying any of these remedies.

How To Treat Oral Thrush Naturally

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar as an oral thrush home remedy
Image: Shutterstock

Apple cider vinegar is known to have antifungal properties. Consuming it daily can help combat the fungal infection caused by oral thrush (2).

In a glass of warm water, add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. You can also add honey for flavor. Sip it slowly. You can do this twice a day.

2. Coconut Oil

Oil pulling with coconut oil can help in treating oral thrush. This is because the antifungal properties of coconut oil may help eliminate the yeast fungus (3).

Swish coconut oil in your mouth every morning on an empty stomach. Continue doing it for 10 to 15 minutes and then spit it out. You can do this once a day in the morning.

3. Yogurt

Yogurt as an oral thrush home remedy
Image: Shutterstock

Yogurt boosts the production of probiotics in your body (4). Some believe these probiotics may eliminate the fungal infection. However, more research is warranted in this regard.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Ideally, consume unsweetened yogurt daily. If you do not like yogurt, you can take probiotic supplements. Consult your doctor for the correct dosage.

Place a tablespoon of yogurt in your mouth. Leave it for 5 minutes before swallowing it. You can do it thrice a day.

4. Baking Soda

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, can kill fungal agents that cause infections (5). A baking soda rinse might help treat oral thrush too – though more information is needed in this regard.

Mix ½ a tablespoon of baking soda in a glass of water and rinse your mouth with the solution. You can do it 2 to 3 times a day until you see results.

5. Essential Oils

Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic and has anti-inflammatory properties. It may combat the fungus that causes oral thrush (6 7), (6 7). You can also replace tea tree oil with peppermint oil. Peppermint oil has antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial properties – and may help treat (8).

Mix 2 tablespoons of tea tree oil and 2 teaspoons of water (if you are using peppermint oil, mix 2 to 3 drops in a glass of water). Swish this solution inside your mouth for 30 to 60 seconds and spit it out. Do this 4 to 5 times a day for optimum results.

6. Garlic

Garlic as an oral thrush home remedy
Image: Shutterstock

Garlic contains allicin, a compound known for its powerful antifungal, antiviral, and antibiotic properties (9). It also may help treat symptoms of oral thrush. However, more research is warranted in this regard.

Chew a clove of raw garlic for 2 to 3 minutes and swallow it. You can do this thrice a day.

7. Salt Water Rinse

Salt or NaCl is antifungal in nature. It mainly promotes osmoregulationi  The maintenance of an internal balance between water and dissolved substances by an organism, irrespective of environmental conditions. and diverts an organism away from its growth (10). This may help fight the fungus. This method may provide immediate thrush relief and promotes healing.

Mix ½ a tablespoon of salt in lukewarm water. Rinse your mouth with this solution. You can do it thrice a day.

8. Cranberry Juice

Cranberry juice is rich in nutrients and is acidic. It creates an acidic environment in your mouth and may kill most fungi. The proanthocyanidinsi  An extract from fruits and vegetables that raises the capillary strength in hypertensive and diabetic people. in cranberries exhibit anti-adherencei  A substance that reduces contact between host tissues and pathogens to boost immunity. They are often used as alternatives to antibiotics. properties that inhibit the adherence of C. albicans inside your mouth (11).

Drink a cup of unsweetened cranberry juice once or twice a day.

9. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice as an oral thrush home remedy
Image: Shutterstock

Lemon is replete with antifungal agents and may help treat oral thrush (12).

Squeeze half a lemon in a glass of water. Add honey and ginger for flavor. Drink immediately without storing it. You can do it twice or thrice a day.

10. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant and is also acidic. It enhances immunity and may help fight oral thrush (13). However, more information is warranted in this area.

You can consume a 1000 mg vitamin C capsule twice a day. However, inform your doctor before consuming any medication. You can do it twice a day.


Oral thrush may also be a result of a deficiency in vitamins B3 and D or iron. In such cases, the respective vitamins and minerals must be taken to address oral thrush.

11. Grape Seed Extract

Grape seed extract can treat a variety of ailments. However, it is more effective against candida due to its antifungal properties. It will also boost your immune system and prevent chances of reinfection by the fungus (14), (15).

Consume 250 mg of grape seed extract supplement thrice a day for visible results.

12. Pineapple Juice

Pineapple juice as an oral thrush home remedy
Image: Shutterstock

Pineapples contain bromelain, a potential antifungal agent that breaks down microorganisms and eliminates them (16). This may help in combating fungal infection.

Cut ¼ a pineapple into small pieces. Chew on these pieces once a while. You can do this 2 to 3 times a day.

13. Orange Juice

Oranges are citrus fruits like lemons. They are rich in vitamin C, also referred to as ascorbic acid. Vitamin C is acidic and helps keep the Candida fungus in check (17).

Peel one orange and blend it with a glass of water in a mixer. Sip this juice once daily.

14. Aloe Vera Juice

Aloe vera’s antifungal and antimicrobial properties may help treat oral infections (18), (19).

Take some gel from the aloe vera plant and apply it to your tongue and inner cheeks. Alternatively, you can also drink ¼ glass of aloe vera juice once daily.

15. Mouthwash

Mouthwashes generally contain antifungal chemicals and may help treat oral thrush. Hence, they show quick and effective action against fungal infections (20), (21).

Rinse your mouth after every meal with any antifungal mouthwash containing fluconazole. Follow this regimen at least thrice daily.

In addition to these remedies, you can also follow a few tips to prevent oral thrush, increase the efficacy of your treatment, and accelerate your recovery.

Preventing Oral Thrush

  • Brush your teeth at least twice daily and floss regularly.
  • In case you are using a corticosteroid inhaler, rinse your mouth after every use.
  • If you are on antibiotics, include yogurt in your diet.
  • If you are affected by a vaginal yeast infection, treat it immediately.
  • Disinfect your dentures, especially after a mouth infection.
  • Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater.
  • Avoid intake of sugar and sweets. Also, stay away from pork meat, fish like tuna and swordfish, some dairy products, processed vegetable oils, alcohol, and caffeinated drinks.
  • Follow a diet rich in vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc, vegetables, proteins, and fermented foods like yogurt and kimchi.

Oral thrush is often mild and is not a cause for concern. The symptoms are also usually moderate and can be treated quite easily. Although the remedies mentioned here can help in the treatment of oral thrush to a large extent, it is better to see your doctor if the condition persists. You must also always follow a healthy diet and practice good oral hygiene to prevent the recurrence of this infection in the future.

In the following section, we will look at the causes of oral thrush.

Causes of Oral Thrush

Causes In Adults

  • Cancer treatments: Cancer treatments like chemotherapy have the potential to damage the mucous membranes of your mouth and lead to oral infections (22).
  • Dentures: Wearing dentures can lead to oral thrush. This is one reason the condition could be common in older people using dentures. However, there is no significant research in this regard.
  • Diseases: Those affected by diseases like AIDS and diabetes can develop oral thrush (23), (24).
  • Smoking: Smoking can lead to oral thrush (25). However, the exact mechanism of how smoking elevates the growth of candida species is not clear yet.
  • Medications: The use of medications like antibiotics and corticosteroids may also result in oral thrush. However, clear scientific research is lacking in this aspect.

Causes In Infants

  • Contracted from mothers: Most infants contract oral thrush at birth from their mothers. This is usually the case if the mothers have a history of vaginal yeast infection caused by the same fungus that causes oral thrush (26).
  • Antibiotics: Chances of developing oral thrush are higher in babies when the mother has taken a prolonged course of antibiotics or if the child is administered high doses of antibiotics (27).
  • Weak immunity: Babies have weak immunity, and hence, they may easily get infected by the fungus and develop oral thrush.

According to a study conducted to assess the relation between viral infections like COVID-19 and oral thrush, it was found that there is a potential risk of oral thrush for those affected with COVID-19. Of the 889 patients affected with COVID-19, 14 (1.6%) had oral candidiasis.
Irrespective of the cause, the symptoms associated with oral thrush are often common. Following are the symptoms of oral thrush.

Symptoms Of Oral Thrush

Initially, the symptoms associated with this infection are hardly noticeable. But they tend to develop over time and are often mild to moderate in nature (28). The most common symptoms associated with oral thrush are:

  • Formation of a white bumpy layer over the entire mouth and tonsils
  • Loss of taste
  • Cracking of the skin at the corners of the mouth (29)
  • Signs of bleeding on scraping the white layer
  • The bumps under the white layer may show signs of pain
  • Difficulty in swallowing or speaking
  • Infants may experience difficulty in eating when affected by this condition

Although these symptoms are usually harmless, they could aggravate the condition if left untreated and may even interrupt your daily life. Thus, it is always advised to get rid of the thrush as soon as you notice its appearance. The home remedies given here can help you in combating the fungal infection and its symptoms. Learn the general medical treatments for oral thrush below:

Medical Treatments For Oral Thrush

Oral thrush can be effectively treated through medical treatments like (30):

  • Antifungal Medications: Doctors often prescribe antifungal medications like fluconazole, clotrimazole, or nystatin in the form of lozenges, mouth rinses, or oral tablets.
  • Oral Gels: Antifungal gels containing miconazole or clotrimazole can be applied directly to the affected areas inside the mouth for localized treatment.
  • Probiotics: Probiotic supplements or yogurt containing beneficial bacteria like Lactobacillus may help restore the natural balance of microorganisms in the mouth.
  • Good Oral Hygiene: Regular brushing, flossing, and an antiseptic mouthwash may prevent the spread of the infection and promote healing and good dental health.
  • Addressing The Underlying Cause: Controlling the underlying conditions, such as diabetes or immune system disorders, may help individuals prevent oral thrush.

However, it is recommended to consult a doctor before trying any of the treatments.

When To See A Doctor?

If you observe any white patches or lesions that are red and painful, consult your doctor immediately. An early diagnosis and initiation of treatment can reduce the progression and severity of the thrush.

Infographic: 7 Easy Home Remedies For Treating Oral Thrush

Oral thrush is a fungal infection that causes white bumps in your mouth and difficulty in swallowing. Factors like smoking, a weak immune system, or medications can lead to the development of oral thrush. If you are looking for natural remedies, you have come to the right place. From the elaborate list above there are a few easy natural remedies that we’d like to give a shout out to.

Check out the infographic below for the 7 best natural remedies to help you manage your oral thrush.

7 easy home remedies for treating oral thrush (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Oral thrush is a common fungal infection that is easily treatable. If you spot a white layer on your tongue and mouth, seek medical help immediately. Early diagnosis will lead to a quick recovery. Following the home remedies discussed in the article may help reduce the severity of oral thrush symptoms. These home remedies for thrush are effective because they contain natural ingredients that are antifungal and boost your immunity. However, if the condition persists along with other worrying symptoms, consult your healthcare provider to diagnose any underlying medical condition.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you scrape off oral thrush?

Yes, you may be able to scrape off oral thrush from your tongue and reveal red blister-like formations on the tongue. However, scraping off oral thrush will only temporarily remove the buildup and is not a cure of the condition. Your healthcare provider may scrape off oral thrush to make a diagnosis of the infection.

What should I eat when I have oral thrush?

Eating probiotics such as yogurt and other fermented foods are strongly recommended for individuals with mild cases of oral thrush. Probiotics can help populate the body with “good microorganisms” that may facilitate recovery.

Is oral thrush temporary?

Yes, oral thrush is temporary. However, if you have a weak immune system and leave the condition untreated, it may last for months or even years. In rare cases, the infection may penetrate deeper and reach the circulatory system resulting in sepsis, a life-threatening blood poisoning (31).

Can oral thrush make you feel sick?

Yes, anecdotal evidence suggests that apart from the regular symptoms, oral thrush may leave you feeling sick, tired, and fatigued. This may especially be true if you have a weakened immune system.

Key Takeaways

  • Oral thrush can be treated with natural ingredients like coconut oil, yogurt, vitamin C, ACV, essential oils, and more.
  • It may be caused due to a deficiency in iron or vitamins B3 and D.
  • Certain symptoms of oral thrush include a white bumpy layer over the throat and mouth, loss of taste, and difficulty swallowing.

Learn how to treat oral thrush and candida at home with simple, natural remedies. Check out this video to discover the best ways to reduce symptoms and get relief fast.


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Oral candidiasis
  2. Antifungal Activity of Apple Cider Vinegar on Candida Species Involved in Denture Stomatitis
  3. In Vitro Antimicrobial Properties of Coconut Oil on Candida Species in Ibadan Nigeria
  4. Yogurt as probiotic carrier food
  5. Antifungal activity of sodium bicarbonate against fungal agents causing superficial infections
  6. Sensitivity of Candida albicans to essential oils: are they an alternative to antifungal agents?
  7. Antifungal activity of the components of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil
  8. Antifungal activity of peppermint and sweet basil essential oils and their major aroma constituents on some plant pathogenic fungi from the vapor phase
  9. Antimicrobial properties of allicin from garlic
  10. Sodium Chloride Inhibits the Growth and Infective Capacity of the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus and Increases Host Survival Rates
  11. Cranberry proanthocyanidins inhibit the adherence properties of Candida albicans and cytokine secretion by oral epithelial cells
  12. Treatment of oral thrush in HIV/AIDS patients with lemon juice and lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus) and gentian violet
  13. Vitamin C physiology: the known and the unknown and Goldilocks
  14. Synergic effect of grape seed extract with amphotericin B against disseminated candidiasis due to Candida albicans
  15. Candidiasis: Predisposing Factors Prevention Diagnosis and Alternative Treatment
  16. Potential role of bromelain in clinical and therapeutic applications
  17. Ascorbic acid inhibition of Candida albicans Hsp90-mediated morphogenesis occurs via the transcriptional regulator Upc2
  18. Clinical Effectiveness of Aloe Vera in the Management of Oral Mucosal Diseases- A Systematic Review
  19. Comparative antimicrobial activities of aloe vera gel and leaf
  20. Efficacy of nystatin for the treatment of oral candidiasis: a systematic review and meta-analysis
  21. Oropharyngeal Candidiasis in Patients with AIDS: Randomized Comparison of Fluconazole Versus Nystatin Oral Suspensions
  22. Oral Complications of Chemotherapy and Head/Neck Radiation (PDQ®)–Patient Version
  23. Human immunodeficiency virus-induced oral candidiasis
  24. Identification of Candida species in the oral cavity of diabetic patients
  25. The impact of cigarette/tobacco smoking on oral candidosis: an overview
  26. Invasive candidiasis and oral manifestations in premature newborns
  28. A Novel Murine Model of Oral Candidiasis with Local Symptoms Characteristic of Oral Thrush
  29. Oral Candidiasis
  30. Oral thrush: Overview
  31. Oral Candidiasis
Was this article helpful?
Practicing in Beverly Hills and Manhattan, with experience that spans more than 21 years and several Northeastern states, Dr. Thomas Connelly delivers world class dental aesthetics to patients from all walks of life. He is accredited by the American Society of Dental Aesthetics - the most prestigious and selective credentialing organization in the world for Aesthetic Dentistry - and is...read full bio

Latest Articles