Candidiasis – oral; Oral thrush; Fungal infection – mouth; Candide – oral
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Thrush is caused by forms of a fungus called . A small amount of this fungus lives in your mouth most of the time. It is usually kept in check by your immune system and other types of germs that also normally live in your mouth.
Thrush appears as whitish, velvety lesions in the mouth and on the tongue. Underneath the whitish material, there is red tissue that may bleed easily. The lesions can slowly increase in number and size.
Signs and tests
Your doctor or dentist can almost always diagnose thrush by looking at your mouth and tongue. These fungal lesions have a distinct appearance. If not entirely clear, one of the following tests may be performed to look for the organisms:
For thrush in infants, treatment is often NOT necessary. It generally gets better on its own within 2 weeks.
Thrush in infants may be painful, but is rarely serious. Because of discomfort, it can interfere with eating. If it does not resolve on its own within 2 weeks, call your pediatrician.
David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 8/28/2009