Alternate Names : Oral Candida, Oral Moniliasis, Yeast Infection, Oral
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
mononucleosis, which is a viral
conditions being treated with corticosteroid medications
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.