What is oral thrush?

Candidiasis is a fungal infection (also called moniliasis or oral thrush) that occurs when the yeast Candida albicans reproduce in large numbers. It is common among denture wearers and most often occurs in people who are very young, elderly, debilitated by diseases like diabetes or leukemia, or who have a problem with their immune system. People who have dry mouth syndrome are also very susceptible to thrush. The yeast may flourish after antibiotic treatment, which can decrease normal bacteria in the mouth.

Good oral hygiene is essential in controlling thrush. Clean your dentures regularly to remove the yeast and also remove your dentures at bedtime. Saliva substitutes and prescription medications may be helpful when the underlying cause of dry mouth is incurable or unavoidable.
Joan Haizlip, MSN
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Oral thrush is a fungus of the mouth caused by candida albicans. Oral thrush appears as tiny, white spots on the tongue and on the lining of the mouth, including the roof of the mouth, gums and even the tonsils. It is common in babies and people who wear dentures. In many people, oral thrush is a minor problem, but if you have a weakened immune system, it can cause internal problems.
Oral thrush is a term used to describe an overgrowth of a certain kind of fungus (Candida albicans) that lives in the mouth most of the time. The fungus builds up on the inner lining of your mouth, leading to velvety whitish areas, or patches, on your inner cheeks or on your tongue. If the oral thrush isn't treated, it can spread to the back of your mouth, your tonsils, your gums, and even the top of your mouth.

Oral thrush is more common in babies and in older people who wear dentures, but anyone can get thrush. You are at higher risk if your immune system is weak; for example, if you are taking corticosteroid medications, are getting chemotherapy, or have HIV/AIDS.

Treatment for oral thrush depends on whether you are healthy or have a weak immune system. A healthy person with thrush may be told to eat yogurt that contains live bacteria, to help restore the normal balance of bacteria in the mouth. But in a person with a weak immune system, treatment will probably include an antifungal medicine.

Thrush is the term used to describe yeast infections in the mouth. Thrush causes a visible whitish coating on the inside of the cheeks, gums or tongue. This is relatively common in infants since their immune system is not fully developed. It can occur in others as well, more commonly when there is an alteration of immune factors such as taking anti-inflammatory steroids for asthma or the use of antibiotics.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.