- Who Can Get
What is a yeast infection?
A yeast infection is an overgrowth of a yeast fungi called candida that are naturally present in the body. Candida fungi live in:
- The mouth
- The throat
- The vagina
- The stomach and digestive system
Yeast infections, also called candidiasis or thrush, happen when something changes in your body’s chemistry to create an inviting environment for the yeast to multiply in. Yeast infections in the mouth can also affect people who have low immunity.
The main symptoms of a yeast infection in the mouth are:
- White bumps or lesions on the tongue, inside of your cheeks, or roof of your mouth
- Red, sore spots in the mouth
- Red spots that bleed when the white lesion is wiped away
- Cracked, dry corners of the mouth
- Loss of taste
- Pain while chewing or swallowing
- Dry cotton mouth
It’s also possible for the fungus to infect the throat and esophagus, the long tube that leads from the throat to the stomach. The symptoms of an infection of the esophagus are:
Who can get it
You can tell if your baby has a yeast infection of the mouth if they:
Have milky white bumps on the tongue and lining of the mouth
- Resist feeding
- Are very gassy
- Are extremely fussy or upset
Because infants can often get oral thrush, breastfeeding mothers can also become infected. The infection can pass from baby to mother and back, making it difficult to get rid of. Symptoms of a candidiasis passed from a baby to a breastfeeding mother are:
- Painful, burning or cracked nipples
- Extreme pain during or after breastfeeding
- Crusts or a rash around the nipples
- Shooting pain through the breast
New parents should take their baby to the pediatrician (doctor who treats children) if they show signs of oral thrush. You can usually continue to breastfeed while receiving treatment for candidiasis.
Other groups of people are also at higher risk for oral thrush. These are people with lowered immunity who:
Diagnosing a yeast infection in your mouth
Your doctor may be able to recognize oral thrush by looking at your symptoms. They may examine the back of your throat and ask you questions to determine if the yeast infection has spread to your throat.
If the doctor suspects it has spread to your throat, they may recommend a procedure called endoscopy. This is done by inserting a small camera into the back of the throat and stomach to see if there is candida growth.
They might also scrape the inside of your mouth or throat and send it to a laboratory for results. This can take a few days. Once you’ve been diagnosed, they will treat the infection.
Treatments for a yeast infection in your mouth
Typically, your doctor will prescribe a topical antifungal medicine to get rid of the yeast infection. The medication is applied directly to the affected area multiple times a day for one to two weeks. This is often the treatment option for uncomplicated cases.
You will need to take an antifungal medication to get rid of a yeast infection in your mouth. You can buy these over the counter at a drugstore or get a prescription. These medicines are usually prescribed for oral thrush:
For breastfeeding mothers, the doctor usually prescribes antifungal drops or gel. If the mother is also infected, the doctor may recommend some medicine to soothe nipple irritation.
It’s possible to prevent a yeast infection in the mouth. Some ways to do so are:
- Brush your teeth after taking corticosteroids like inhalers.
- If you wear dentures, brush them after every meal, remove them at night, and make sure they fit properly.
- Avoid foods like processed sugar and wheat. They can create an inviting environment for candida.
- For infants, sterilize bottles and pacifiers after each use.
- Don’t freeze your breast milk if you or your baby have thrush. The fungus can survive cold temperatures and may reinfect your infant.
Latest Infectious Disease News
Daily Health News
Complications of oral thrush
Oral thrush usually isn’t a long-term problem for people with healthy immune systems. It will go away in a short time with proper medication. However, it can cause more significant problems and repeat infections in people with serious immune deficiency.
The fungus can spread to the back of the throat and esophagus (Candida esophagitis). Candida esophagitis is common in people who live with HIV/AIDS. If left untreated, the fungus can spread to other parts of the body and become systemic.
Systemic candidiasis is a serious condition that can affect the membrane linings of the heart and brain.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Dr. Brown’s: “Preventing Thrush in Breastfeeding Moms.”
National Health Service: “Oral thrush (mouth thrush).”
National Organization for Rare Disorders: “Candidiasis.”
The Pharmaceutical Journal: “Oral candidiasis: causes, types, and treatment.”
Top How Do You Get Rid of an Oral Yeast Infection Related Articles
Dental Health QuizTake the Dental Health Quiz to test your IQ of oral hygiene, cavities, and common tongue and gum diseases. This quiz covers healthy mouths and teeth from brushing to flossing and everything in between check-ups!
Is a Yeast Infection Contagious?Yeast are a fungi that has many types. A type of yeast that can cause infection in humans is called Candida. Candida can infect the mouth, vagina, penis, or other areas of the body. Symptoms of yeast infections depend on the area infected, however, may include itching, bumps on the skin, a reddish rash, or patches of skin that ooze a clear or yellow liquid. Most yeast infections are not contagious even though they are caused by a fungus.
Your Breath and HealthBad breath causes include snoring, gum disease, acid reflux, respiratory infections, tonsil stones, diabetes, liver failure, kidney failure, H. pylori, dehydration, infections, and use of certain medications. Bad breath cures or remedies depend on the underlying cause. Some people use bad breath toothpaste or mouthwash to combat the problem.
Painful Teeth ConditionsGot aching teeth? Your pain may be coming from somewhere other than your choppers.
Oral Health Problems in ChildrenOral health problems in children include thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, lip sucking, tooth decay, and early tooth loss. Get tips on how to prevent these problems in your child.
Thrush (Oral Candidiasis)Thrush is an infection of the mouth caused by the Candida fungus. Symptoms of thrush include pain or difficulty swallowing, a feeling that food gets stuck in the throat, and fever.
Oral Thrush in ChildrenYeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of a type of fungus called Candida. Oral thrush is a yeast infection of the mouth and throat. Oral thrush and yeast infections are treated orally or topically with an antifungal antibiotic called nystatin.
Yeast Infection QuizHow much do you know about vaginal yeast infections? Learn the causes, symptoms, and treatments of a yeast infection with the Vaginal Yeast Infection Quiz.