Thrush (Oral Candidiasis)

  • Medical Author:
    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.

  • Medical Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

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.

Quick GuideDental Health: Top Problems in Your Mouth

Dental Health: Top Problems in Your Mouth

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
Reviewed on 3/30/2016
References
REFERENCES:

American Dental Association. "Burning Mouth Syndrome." JADA 136 August 2005: 1191. <http://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Publications/Files/patient_53.pdf?la=en>.

Kumar, Mudra. "Thrush." Medscape.com. June 17, 2015. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/969147-overview>.

Newman, Jack. "Grapefruit Seed Extract for Treatment of Thrush." Canadian Breastfeeding Foundation. Jan. 2005. <http://www.canadianbreastfeedingfoundation.org/basics/grapefruit_seed.shtml>.

Pammi, Mohan. "Treatment of Candida Infection in Neonates." UpToDate.com. February 2016. <http://www.uptodate.com/contents/treatment-of-candida-infection-in-neonates?source=search_result&search=thrush+newborn&selectedTitle=1~150>.

Tonn, Elverne M., ed. "Dental Health and Thrush." WebMD.com. May 8, 2012. <http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/dental-health-thrush>.

United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Oral Candidiasis." Mar. 25, 2013. <http://www.cdc.gov/fungal/candidiasis/thrush/>.

IMAGES:

1. Getty Images

2. Watney Collection/Phototake, Color Atlas & Synopsis of Pediatric Dermatology Kay Shou-Mei Kane, Peter A. Lio, Alexander J. Stratigos, Richard Allen Johnson Copyright 2009 by The McGraw-Hill Companies. All rights reserved.

3. Y. Tambe, CDC/ Dr. William Kaplan

4. Bigstock, iStock

5. Fitzpatrick's Color Atlas & Synopsis of Clinical Dermatology”; Klaus Wolff, Richard Allen Johnson, Dick Suurmond; Copyright 2009 by The McGraw-Hill Companies. All Rights reserved, James Heilman, MD, CDC - Sol Silverman, Jr., D.D.S.

6. iStock

7. iStock

8. Bigstock, iStock

9. Getty Images

10. iStock

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