Table of Contents
- Thrush facts
- What is thrush?
- What causes thrush?
- What are risk factors for thrush?
- Is oral thrush contagious?
- What are thrush symptoms and signs?
- How do physicians diagnose thrush?
- What is the treatment for thrush?
- Are there home remedies for thrush?
- What types of doctors treat oral thrush?
- What is the prognosis of thrush?
- Is it possible to prevent thrush?
Quick GuideTop Problems in Your Mouth
What are thrush symptoms and signs?
Thrush is characterized by a white coating or white patches on the tongue, mouth, inner cheeks, and the back of the throat. The tissue under the white patches is often red, raw, and sore. The lesions can be painful and even bleed when scraped. Oral thrush often looks like cottage cheese or milk curds. Some general symptoms and signs of thrush are as follows:
- Characteristic white patches
- Redness under the white patches
- White tongue
- Cracking at the outer edges of the lips (cheilosis)
- Dry mouth
- Feeling of food stuck in the throat or sore throat
- Soreness in teeth
- Strange or unpleasant taste in mouth
- Bad breath
Oral thrush can also lead to a condition called burning mouth syndrome, which can have symptoms of a painful burning sensation, mouth dryness, soreness, tingling or numbness throughout the mouth and tongue, and sometimes an abnormal bitter or metallic taste in the mouth.
In severe cases of thrush, the esophagus, which leads down to the stomach, may also be involved. This will cause pain with swallowing. If someone has a weakened immune system (HIV/AIDS, cancer, chemotherapy, etc.), the Candida fungus can spread to other parts of the body and cause a systemic infection. If a person has signs or symptoms of thrush and develops a fever, shaking or chills, or difficulty swallowing, contact a doctor immediately.
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