Thrush: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Dentures require constant care.

While oral thrush is a condition that can affect any part of the population, it’s more commonly found in people who have compromised (or weakened) immune systems, people who wear dentures, those who use corticosteroid inhalers or infants. Commonly associated with HIV infection, this condition is an inflammatory condition of the gums. ✔️ It can often help to rinse the mouth with a diluted solution of 3 per cent hydrogen peroxide. Breastfeeding mothers who have a baby with thrush may get a yeast infection on their breasts and nipples, causing pain while breastfeeding. Additionally, dirty formula bottles and pacifiers can also cause oral thrush if they become contaminated with Candida. About 35-50% of humans possess C. Occasionally, a biopsy is needed to confirm a diagnosis of oral thrush. It is a type of fungal (yeast) infection, caused most commonly by Candida albicans, but can also be caused by other non-albican species like C.

  • Once the Candida fungus migrates past the gastrointestinal tract, it can become established in other major organs such as the lungs and kidneys.
  • Therefore, they must be disinfected as part of the treatment for oral candidiasis.
  • If you have cancer, your immune system is likely to be weakened from the disease and from treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation.

If the infection has spread beyond the most immediate area of the mouth and down into the esophagus, your doctor will likely do a couple of tests. Why is thrush a concern during breastfeeding? To prevent thrush from occurring or recurring, follow a consistent oral health care routine, and try to include yogurt with live, active cultures in your diet, especially if you take antibiotics for a chronic condition. Treating dentist should be knowledgeable with action and indications and doses of antifungal agents. Intravenous (IV) catheters and other medical equipment contaminated with Candida species can also cause invasive candidiasis. Fungal infections, always see your healthcare provider for a diagnosis. However, under certain conditions (such as an underlying health condition or use of some medications) candida can grow more quickly and create an infection. Parasitic and mycotic.

There are three other forms of oral candidiasis infections: A common contributor to oral thrush is denture stomatisis, which occurs when the gums and soft tissue of the mouth are irritated and inflamed from wearing a denture that doesn’t fit well or hasn’t been properly cleaned on a regular basis. Although some can cause nausea (feeling sick), vomiting, bloating, abdominal (tummy) pain and diarrhea these medications do not often come up with side effects.

Your doctor should always be consulted, as a delay in complete control of the Candida “bloom” can allow it to spread to further areas of the body.


When to Seek Medical Care Thrush requires prescription medication after a quick visit to the physician. If your child is taking a liquid antibiotic, rinse his or her mouth with water after each dose too. Thrush may also signal a previously undetected medical condition such as diabetes or, rarely, infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Adults who develop thrush include: For example, if you are taking medicines that suppress your immune system, if you have certain cancers, or if you have HIV/AIDS. Oral thrush can be easily treated with medicines bought from a pharmacy, such as a mouth gel. It is caused by an overgrowth of Candida yeast.

Some adults say they feel like they have cotton in their mouth. However, if it is left untreated in people with HIV/AIDS, it can progress rapidly to the throat, causing difficulty in swallowing medication and food, leading to an early death. A thrush infection can spread and involve the roof of the mouth and the gums, where it can cause symptoms such as redness and irritation. But you may need to see an infectious disease specialist. In more severe cases, you may have a deadening of your sense of taste and it may be painful to eat or swallow. We all carry this organism on our skin, in our mouth, in our gastrointestinal tract (gut) and, for women, in the vagina. Eat unsweetened yogurt while taking antibiotics.

, Feigin and Cherry's Textbook of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, 6th ed.

Possible Complications

Candida infection is more likely to develop with: A bad taste in the mouth or difficulty tasting foods. In your mouth thrush appears as a growth that can look like cottage cheese – white, raised lesions on your tongue and cheeks. It is also known as moniliasis or a yeast infection.

  • You may have an increased risk for thrush if you have any of the above factors that disrupt the balance of organisms.
  • What are the various risk factors of oral thrush?
  • But remember, that’s not always the case.
  • Storing milk and prepared bottles in the refrigerator prevents yeast from growing.
  • It is important for those with underlying medical conditions to get treatment advice from their specialist doctor.

Talking to Your Doctor or Dentist

It often affects people who wear dentures because it can be difficult to keep dentures clean. The quickest and most effective way to treat oral thrush is with antifungal drugs. Faq: bacterial vaginosis, irritation can be caused by using a dull razor to shave down there. If your immune system or your production of saliva is impaired by health conditions, medications, or treatments, yeast can overgrow and oral thrush can develop.


People with a dry mouth relating to side-effects of their medication (eg anti-psychotics) or medical conditions (eg Sjőgren's Syndrome). Age can also be a factor, since the disease is more common in the very young and very old. Prophylactic use of antifungals is sometimes employed in persons with HIV disease, during radiotherapy, during immunosuppressive or prolonged antibiotic therapy as the development of candidal infection in these groups may be more serious.

Drop the medicine on a cotton swab and swab it on the affected area.

Home remedies for oral thrush Your doctor might also recommend home remedies or lifestyle changes to help treat oral thrush or stop it from coming back. Poor appetite. Thrush is a common oral yeast infection that affects many newborns and younger children, as well as adults with weakened immune systems. The combination of caprylic and lauric acid found in coconut oil helps to kill off excess Candida.


In acute conditions like cancer or HIV/AIDS, the lesions can spread down the esophagus. The term thrush refers to a local infection of only the mouth and throat. This helps to prevent the medicine from being washed out of your mouth too soon. Symptoms of invasive candidiasis can include fever and chills, but are not specific and depend on which organs the infection spreads to in the body.

This paper is discussing the various reasons facilitating the recurrence or treatment failure of oral candidiasis. If candidal leukoplakia is suspected, a biopsy may be indicated. Know the reason for your visit and what you want to happen. A baby with oral thrush might have cracked skin in the corners of the mouth or white patches on the lips, tongue, or inside the cheeks that look a little like cottage cheese but can't be wiped away. This process of adhesion is complex and multifactorial. It’s smart to wash your hands as often as possible if you’re near someone who has thrush.

What Health Care Specialists Treat Oral Thrush?

Dry mouth due to disease of the salivary glands or certain medications, e. In adults and older children, signs and symptoms of oral thrush may include: Saliva carries antibodies and other substances that keep yeast under control.

When your immune system is weak or when normal bacteria die, too much of the fungus can grow.

This means it cannot be passed to others. 10 foods that kill candida, first, you’ll want to start by doing a liquids-only cleanse. They insert this “endoscope” through your mouth and into your esophagus to examine it. However, sometimes oral thrush is quite sore and can make eating and drinking uncomfortable.

The following are factors that can increase the risk of developing an oral thrush:

The oral health information published on this web page is solely intended for educational purposes.

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Drainage of any paronychial pus is also important. And apply lanolin lotion, which may help relieve nipple soreness. If your immune system is weakened, you’re more likely to develop complications from thrush. Having diabetes. Babies can be susceptible to oral thrush because their immune systems are still developing. What are the symptoms of oral thrush?

Steroid medication – long-term use of steroid medication can increase the risk of oral thrush.

A Tables

Read more about taking care of your oral health. Who is at special risk of oral thrush? It is uncommon in people without underlying conditions. Redness, burning or soreness. 50 types cause disease in humans. As long as you follow proper flossing technique, any type of floss or dental tape can be used as part of your oral care routine if you have thrush.

Who develops oral thrush? This gives the mucosa a chance to recover, while wearing a denture during sleep is often likened to sleeping in one's shoes. Everyone’s body acts differently. How does the doctor diagnose oral thrush? Also, constant moisture at the corners of the mouth, caused by badly fitting dentures, will allow Candida to grow. Sometimes a saliva substitute may help, as a dry mouth presents a good growth medium for yeast.


The following groups of people have an increased risk of developing oral thrush. Women who are pregnant, women taking birth control pills and those who experience persistent dry mouth (caused by systemic conditions or medications such as antidepressants) are more likely to develop a candidal infection. Once oral Candida adherence to oral mucosa has been established, then colonization and growth are mandatory for the persistence of the organism on the surface.

  • A mouth infection which is caused by yeast otherwise known as Candida fungus is referred to as oral thrush.
  • This is an uncommon form of chronic (more than one month in duration) candidal infection involving multiple areas in the mouth, without signs of candidiasis on other mucosal or cutaneous sites.

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Apple cider vinegar (ACV) may help to regulate the presence of Candida while restoring the natural pH level in the mouth. In addition, write down any questions you want to ask your doctor or dentist. Or wash the items in warm, soapy water. These lesions are generally raised and are often described to look like cottage cheese.

Dry mouth – people with less than normal quantities of saliva (xerostomia) are more prone to oral thrush.

Exams and Tests

Although tablets or capsules are sometimes used, these usually come in the form of gels or liquid that you apply directly inside your mouth (topical medication). The most common strain of this fungus is Candida albicans, also known as Candida or C. But a child with a weakened immune system may get thrush by sharing toys or pacifiers with a child who has the infection. Use warm saline water as a mouth wash. Scraping the white patches off can cause some bleeding. Furthermore, people whose dentures don't fit well can sustain breaks in the mucous membranes in their mouth, which can act as a gateway for candida. The incidence of all forms of candidiasis have increased in recent decades.

The condition can quickly become irritated and cause mouth pain and redness. Tablet or capsules are usually taken once daily. Most people respond well to treatment. Drugs such as prednisone, inhaled corticosteroids, or antibiotics that disturb the natural balance of microorganisms in your body can increase your risk of oral thrush.

Is Thrush Contagious?

If your symptoms continue - see your GP. For people with lowered immunity, such as from cancer treatment or HIV/AIDS, thrush can be more serious. Antibiotics – people who are on antibiotics have a higher risk of developing oral thrush. If you have a health problem that raises your risk of thrush, call your healthcare provider at the first sign of symptoms.

What Is Oral Thrush?

Lactobacillus acidophilus supplements may help maintain a healthy balance of Candida. Candidal adhesion to oral mucosa has been long recognized as the essential step in the process of colonization and infection. This occurs more frequently in people with HIV infection, cancer, and other conditions which impair the immune system. In older children and adults, oropharyngeal candidiasis is associated with several risk behaviors, including prolonged or repeated use of oral antibiotics, prednisone (or other steroid medications), smoking, dentures, use of birth control pills, and medical conditions especially diabetes (either type I or type II) or any diseases that can suppress your immune system (HIV/AIDS). A common mouth infection, thrush can be treated by anti-fungals and probiotics. In this regard, Gibson et al. Rinse the dentures well in the morning.

Malnutrition,[3] whether by malabsorption,[17] or poor diet, especially hematinic deficiencies (iron, vitamin B12, folic acid) can predispose to oral candidiasis,[6] by causing diminished host defense and epithelial integrity. You will need to make a list of any medications you are taking to share with your doctor. Sugar is an easy source of food for Candida. See your doctor if you think your baby may have thrush. In essence, atrophic candidiasis appears like pseudomembranous candidiasis without the superficial desquamating layer.

An endoscope is commonly used to identify this type of Candidiasis. Top 7 best anti-yeast dog foods that actually work for yeast infections. Xerostomia is frequently listed as a cause of candidiasis,[3] but xerostomia can be subjective or objective, i. You might need an upper endoscopy. First, they’ll take a culture sample by swabbing the back of the throat to determine which bacteria or fungi (if any) are causing your symptoms.

Creamy white lesions on your tongue, inner cheeks, and sometimes on the roof of your mouth, gums and tonsils.

Home Remedies For Oral Thrush

Your doctor or dentist usually will be able to diagnose an oral yeast infection simply by looking for the characteristic velvety white lesions in your mouth or on your tongue. Thrush (candida) infection elsewhere in an infant, e. Intermittent suppression is associated with higher success rates and a lower level of development of resistance.

Certain predisposing factors are more difficult, if not impossible, to eradicate which necessitate the prophylactic antifungal therapy.

Because the skin often contains yeast, mothers can pass on excess Candida to their baby when giving birth, a problem that can lead to oral thrush within days after delivery. Your provider will want to look at your mouth to rule out other causes, including: Your healthcare provider will take your medical history. Both the suspension and the lozenges are used several times a day until the lesions are completely gone. Candidal infections can also cause vaginal yeast infections in women.

How Does The Doctor Diagnose Oral Thrush?

It may be possible to alter one or more of the situations mentioned above to help prevent further bouts of oral thrush. In addition, everyone may acquire thrush but this infection occurs frequently in older adults, toddlers, babies as well as with people whose immune system is weak. It can also affect the roof of the mouth, gums, tonsils or back of the throat. The yeast that causes oral thrush can spread from person to person in different ways: There are 2 major kinds of thrush: Oral candidal colonization and candidiasis have recently received increased attention by the health care providers and researchers alike, particularly following the emergence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and the widespread use of broad spectrum antibiotics and immunosuppressant therapy [1].

If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor. Red patches (erythroplakia) as well as white patches may indicate malignant change. They are normally kept in check by other bacteria and microorganisms in the body. Some cases go away without medical treatment within a week or two, but the doctor may prescribe an antifungal solution for your baby’s mouth. However, if thrush is persisting, antifungal medicine (gel or oral drops) may be recommended. If you have diabetes, take steps to manage your blood sugar levels. Smear a small amount of gel on to the affected areas, with a clean finger, four times a day. Follow the instructions in the packet:

What Are The Causes Of Oral Thrush?

Try this recipe for banishing bad breath with apple cider vinegar. Newborns may develop oral thrush because of their immature immune systems. Candida: overgrowth, symptoms & diagnosis, it all comes back to this. Oral thrush, also known as oral candidiasis, is a yeast/fungi infection of the genus Candida that develops on the mucous membranes of the mouth. They may also remove a sample of tissue for analysis. It may also be called oral candidiasis.

Having a dry mouth due to a lack of saliva. However, infants with oral thrush can pass on the infection to their mother’s nipples during breastfeeding. Denture wearing and poor denture hygiene, particularly wearing the denture continually rather than removing it during sleep,[3] is another risk factor for both candidal carriage and oral candidiasis. Both mother and baby should be checked by a doctor and treated at the same time to prevent re-infection.

How to Prevent Thrush

You can also use a denture cleaner that is sold in most drug or grocery stores. Oral thrush most often occurs in infants and toddlers. Cracking at the corners of your mouth Some people with thrush don’t have any symptoms. While yeast/candidal infections are not always contracted through direct contact, it is possible to pass that Candida overgrowth. Oral thrush can also occur in people with a weakened immune system, such as those with HIV and AIDS. Key points about thrush Thrush is a fungal infection of your mouth and throat. Around 7 in 10 people who wear dentures will develop oral thrush at some stage.

Depending upon the severity of your infection, you may be prescribed antifungal medication, such as tablets, lozenges or a mouthrinse intended for swallowing. Your doctor may suggest that he or she refer you to (or ask the advice of) a specialist if: Candidiasis is not limited to the mouth and, if left untreated, can spread to other parts of the body (throat, vagina, skin). Some medical conditions like cancer and HIV/AIDS affects the immunity of a person; thereby making the affected individual more prone to candida infection. Young babies are also more likely to develop thrush. To confirm such a diagnosis requires an endoscopy.

  • Thrush needs medications prescribed by a health care practitioner.
  • Due to taste intolerance to nystatin and amphotericin B and the relatively prolonged treatment period, patient’s compliance with topical antifungal agents may be compromised [21].
  • However, this is not the case for people with a weakened immune system, whose signs and symptoms may be much more severe.
  • The infection may then pass back and forth between the mother's breasts and the baby's mouth.
  • Sometimes called “plaque-like candidiasis” or “nodular candidiasis”, this is most common in patients with HIV infection.

What Happens

The sample is sent to a laboratory for testing, usually to be examined under a microscope. Common, seen in 5-7% of babies, up to 20% in cancer patients, and 9-31% of HIV/AIDS patientsAges Affected: Contact your healthcare provider if you have symptoms that you think are related to candidiasis in the mouth, throat, or esophagus. Heavy tobacco smoking is also sometimes associated with thrush because smoke can irritate the tissue lining the mouth, making it easier for yeast as well as other organisms to invade and grow. Examples include nystatin (Nystan oral suspension), or miconazole (Daktarin oral gel). In LK Pickering et al. To learn more about these home remedies and others, click here.

If rubbed (during tooth brushing, for example), the patches and the tissue of the mouth may bleed easily.

Thrush is uncommon in healthy older children, teenagers and adults, so if thrush develops, see your doctor to determine if further evaluation is needed to check for an underlying medical condition or other cause. The infection is not contagious, which means it cannot be passed on to others. Eat a healthy balanced diet and cut down on foods that contain sugar and yeast, as these foods can increase your chance of developing oral thrush. 6 things about yeast infections every woman should know, what are candida or “yeast” infections? Adults who wear false teeth (dentures) are at a higher risk for getting thrush and spreading it to others.

This can help you get all the answers you’re seeking and ensure you leave your appointment feeling more satisfied, regardless of if you have oral thrush.