Thrush (Oral Candidiasis)

Thrush Symptoms and Signs

White Tongue

A whitening of the top layer of the tongue or the presence of white spots or patches on the tongue can also be seen with infection, irritation, or chronic inflammation of the surface of the tongue. Certain oral infections, notably Candida yeast infections (known as oral thrush), are characterized by a white tongue.

Thrush facts

  • Thrush (oropharyngeal candidiasis) is a medical condition in which a fungus called Candida albicans overgrows in the mouth and throat.
  • Thrush may be triggered to occur by a variety of factors, including illness, pregnancy, medications, smoking, or dentures.
  • Thrush in newborns and infants is common and usually not harmful.
  • Risk factors for thrush include weakened immune systems, medications, smoking, or stress.
  • Signs and symptoms of thrush include
    • white patches in the mouth, inner cheeks, throat, palate, and tongue, as well as
    • soreness and mouth pain.
  • Thrush is usually diagnosed by clinical examination by a physician or dentist.
  • Treatment for thrush depends on the severity and the cause and can include simple home remedies, oral medications, or systemic medications.
  • The prognosis for mild cases of thrush is good. The outlook for severe cases depends on the underlying cause and the status of the patient's immune system.
  • It's possible to prevent thrush in most cases by risk factor modification. Continue Reading
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Reviewed on 3/30/2016
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