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.

Quick GuideDental Health: Top Problems in Your Mouth

Dental Health: Top Problems in Your Mouth

How do physicians diagnose thrush?

Thrush is clinically diagnosed by a physician or dentist when the characteristic-looking white patches are found in the mouth or throat.

To confirm the diagnosis, or if there is question about whether the white patches are caused by the Candida fungus, a scraping may be done. The doctor or dentist can scrape off a small amount of the white matter from the mouth or throat and look at it under a microscope and view the characteristic yeast-shaped fungi.

Thrush located farther down the throat or in the esophagus is usually found by doing a procedure called an endoscopy. In this procedure, the doctor passes a small camera through the back of the throat into the esophagus and into the stomach to observe the tissue and take samples. If the white lesions are found, they may be biopsied or scraped to confirm the diagnosis of thrush. This procedure is usually performed by a gastroenterologist. 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/>.

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