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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Oral Thrush
      Category : Health Centers > Mouth and Teeth (Oral and Dental)

Oral Thrush

Alternate Names : Oral Candida, Oral Moniliasis, Yeast Infection, Oral

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Oral thrush, or oral Candida, is caused by a fungus or yeast named Candida. This is the same organism that causes vaginal yeast infections. The infection occurs on the moist surfaces of the tongue, palate, cheeks, and lips. Oral Candida infections are fairly common in adults. They can affect up to 5% of newborn infants as well.

What is going on in the body?

This disease often occurs during or after a course of antibiotics. This is because the antibiotic can reduce the number of bacteria that routinely grow in the mouth. These bacteria normally keep the level of Candida fungi in check. When they are not present, the yeast overgrows.

This fungus can infect people of all ages. However, it is most often seen in newborns and the elderly unless other health problems are present.

Conditions that may contribute to thrush include:

  • antibiotic treatment for any condition
  • viral respiratory infections
  • irritation from dentures or any other dental appliance
  • diabetes
  • mononucleosis, which is a viral infection
  • debilitating diseases
  • HIV
  • conditions being treated with corticosteroid medications
  • cancer
  • other immune deficiency diseases
  • What are the causes and risks of the infection?

    Areas of infection can become more severely infected. They may spread to the throat or esophagus, which can be serious. Being unable to maintain a healthy diet may add to the problem. Oral Candida infection can be an indication of a serious systemic disease.


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    Oral Thrush: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Marvin Goldfogel, DDS
    Reviewer: Adam Brochert, MD
    Date Reviewed: 09/19/01

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