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Oral Thrush

Oral Thrush


What you need to know about Oral Thrush

A minor amount of fungus typical to exist in your mouth. But occasionally, the fungus can grow quickly and cause a yeast infection.

When this kind of yeast infection manifests inside your mouth, it is known as oral thrush. Oropharyngeal candidiasis, oral candidiasis, and simply “thrush” are other names for it.

Infants and young children are most frequently affected by oral thrush. On the inner cheeks, tongue, gums, lips, and roof of the mouth, white or yellowish lesions or patches develop. Treatment often removes the spots.

Typically, the infection is not severe and rarely results in complications. Treatment is frequently simple. However, it can spread to other parts of the body and lead to potentially life-threatening consequences in patients with compromised immune systems.

Symptoms of oral thrush

Oral thrush may not show any signs in the beginning. However, if the infection worsens, one or more of the following signs could appear:

  • Your inner cheeks, tongue, tonsils, gums, or lips may have white or yellow spots.
  • A little blood if you scrape the places
  • Discomfort or burning in the tongue
  • A feeling of cotton in your mouth
  • The corners of your mouth have dry, cracking skin.
  • Having trouble swallowing
  • An unpleasant aftertaste
  • A decline in taste
  • Redness, itchiness, and discomfort under dentures (denture stomatitis)

Though it is rare, oral thrush can occasionally harm your oesophagus. Yeast infections in other places of your body can potentially be brought on by the same fungus that causes mouth thrush.

Find out more about the signs of yeast infections in general, including oral thrush.


By looking for the distinctive lesions that it causes in your mouth, your doctor may be able to identify oral thrush.

Your doctor may occasionally perform a biopsy on the affected area to confirm the diagnosis. They will scrape a little piece of the lesion from your mouth in order to perform a biopsy. The sample will subsequently be delivered to a lab for C. Albicans testing.

A throat swab culture or an endoscopy may be used by your doctor to confirm the diagnosis if they have a suspicion that you have oral thrush in your oesophagus.

Your doctor collects a tissue sample from the back of your throat using a cotton swab to perform a throat swab culture. After that, they send this sample to a lab for analysis.

Your doctor will use a tiny tube with a light and camera attached to it to do an endoscopy. They inspect your oesophagus by passing this “endoscope” into your mouth and into it. They might also take a tissue sample for examination.



An overabundance of the fungus Candida albicans (C. Albicans) is the root cause of oral thrush and other yeast infections.

A little quantity of C. Albicans can dwell in your mouth without doing any harm, and this is normal. When your immune system is functioning normally, your body’s healthy microbes help keep C. Albicans under control.

But the fungus can spread out of control if your immune system is weak or your body’s delicate balance of microbes is upset.

If you use certain medications, such as antibiotics, that lower the quantity of beneficial bacteria in your body, you may develop an excess of C. Albicans that results in oral thrush.

Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are two cancer treatments that might harm or destroy healthy cells. You become more prone to infections like an oral thrush as a result.

Leukaemia and HIV are immune-suppressing illnesses that raise your chance of acquiring oral thrush. In HIV-positive individuals, oral thrush is a typical opportunistic illness.

Oral thrush can also be caused by diabetes. Your immune system will be weakened by uncontrolled diabetes, which also raises blood sugar levels. This makes it possible for C. Albicans to flourish.

Risk Factors Of Oral Thrush

Oral thrush is more common in infants, young children, and elderly people. By weakening your immune system or upsetting the balance of bacteria in your body, some medical conditions, medicinal treatments, and lifestyle choices might further raise your risk of developing thrush.

For instance, you might be more susceptible to getting thrush if you:

  • Suffer from a condition that causes dry mouth
  • has HIV,  diabetes, anaemia, or leukaemia
  • Take antibiotics, corticosteroids, or immunosuppressant medications
  • Receive chemotherapy or radiation therapy as cancer treatments
  • Smoke
  • Wear dentures


In immune-sound people, problems from oral thrush are uncommon. It might spread to your oesophagus in extreme circumstances.

Thrush issues are more likely to occur if your immune system is compromised. The fungus that causes thrush may enter your bloodstream and spread to your heart, brain, eyes, or other body organs if you don’t receive the right therapy. Invasive or systemic candidiasis is the medical term for this.

Organ complications might result from systemic candidiasis. Septic shock, a potentially fatal condition, can also result from it.

When to call a doctor

If you get oral thrush symptoms, talk to your doctor. If the symptoms are not treated, they frequently come back and your mouth will continue to feel uncomfortable. A substantial risk of the infection spreading farther into your body exists in extreme cases that are not treated.

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If you have oral thrush, kissing someone else could spread the fungus that causes this ailment. That person may occasionally have oral thrush.

Yeast infections in other body parts are also brought on by the same fungus that causes oral thrush. You might be able to spread the fungus from one area of your body to another area of another person’s body.

You might infect your partner through vaginal sex, anal sex, or oral sex if you have oral thrush, vaginal yeast infection, or penile yeast infection.

If you develop a vaginal yeast infection while pregnant, you run the risk of transmitting the fungus to the unborn child during delivery.

You can give the fungus to your infant during breastfeeding if you have a breast yeast infection or nipple yeast infection. If your baby breastfeeds when they have oral thrush, they could also pass the fungus to you.

Oral thrush or other types of yeast infection are not usually brought on by the transmission of C. Albicans from one person to another.

Furthermore, since C. Albicans is so prevalent in our surroundings, getting a yeast infection does not necessarily mean you contracted it from someone else.

Learn about some of the things that can make you more likely to acquire an illness if you get this fungus from someone else.



Your doctor might suggest one or more of the following medicines treat oral thrush:

  • The oral antifungal drug fluconazole (Diflucan)
  • The lozenge form of the antifungal drug clotrimazole (Mycelex Troche).
  • You can swish nystatin (Nystop, Nyata), an antifungal mouthwash, in your mouth or your child’s mouth.
  • Itraconazole (Sporanox), an oral antifungal drug, is used to treat HIV patients and those with oral thrush who don’t respond to other therapies.
  • Amphotericin B, a drug used to treat severe oral thrush, is available under the brand names AmBisome and Fungizone.

Oral thrush typically fades away a few weeks after you start treatment. But occasionally, it can come back.

Adults with recurrent oral thrush for which there is no known reason will have their underlying medical issues assessed by a healthcare professional.

In the first year of life, oral thrush can occur on multiple occasions in infants.

Oral thrush home remedies

In order to treat oral thrush or prevent a recurrence, your doctor may also suggest lifestyle modifications or at-home therapies.

It’s critical to maintain appropriate dental hygiene as you heal. Here are some pointers:

  • To prevent scraping the thrush-related areas on your teeth, clean them with a gentle toothbrush.
  • In order to reduce your chance of reinfection, change your toothbrush after your oral thrush treatment is complete. If you have dentures, you should also carefully clean them.
  • If your doctor hasn’t recommended mouthwash or mouth spray, stay away from them.

Adults who have thrush symptoms may also find certain home treatments helpful.

You could try rinsing your mouth out with one of the following, for instance:

  • Saltwater
  • A water and baking soda solution
  • A solution of lemon juice and water
  • Water and apple cider vinegar mixed together

Consuming yoghurt with healthy bacteria or taking a probiotic supplement may also be beneficial. Before feeding a baby any vitamins, see a doctor.

Find out more about this and other home treatments.


Oral Thrush

Oral Thrush

Breastfeeding & Oral Thrush

Yeast infections in your breasts and nipples can also be brought on by the same fungus that causes oral thrush.

During nursing, this fungus can be transferred back and forth between moms and infants.

If your infant has oral thrush, the fungus may spread to your breasts or other skin-contact regions. You may be able to spread the fungus to your baby’s mouth or skin if you have a nipple or breast yeast infection.

Additionally, your kid may get oral thrush without you exhibiting any signs of a breast or nipple yeast infection due to the fact that yeast may persist on the skin without causing an infection.

You might encounter any of the following if you get a yeast infection on your breasts or nipples:

  • Both during and after breastfeeding, breast pain
  • Burning or itchy feeling in or near your nipples
  • On or near your nipples, there are white or pale patches.
  • Glossy skin surrounding or around your nipples
  • Flaky skin around your nipples or on them

It’s crucial to seek treatment for both you and your baby if you experience breast or nipple yeast infections or your infant experiences mouth thrush. This may aid in stopping the transmission cycle.

Your doctor might suggest that you take the following actions:

  • Apply an antifungal cream, such as terbinafine (Lamisil) or clotrimazole (Lotrimin), on your breasts and administer an antifungal medicine to your infant. To prevent the cream from getting into your baby’s mouth when you are breastfeeding, wipe it off your breasts beforehand.
  • Clean all items that your baby puts in their mouth, including pacifiers, teething rings, bottle nipples, and other objects. Sterilize the breast pump’s components as well if you use one.
  • Dry off and sanitise your nipples in between feedings. If you use nursing pads, stay away from those with a plastic liner since they could trap moisture and foster the growth of fungus.

In order to cure or prevent oral thrush and other yeast infections, your doctor could also suggest making lifestyle changes. Learn more about preventing yeast infections while breastfeeding.

Babies & Oral Thrush

Infants and young children are most commonly affected by oral thrush. After acquiring the fungus from their mothers during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding, or even just from yeast that is normally present in their environment, babies may develop oral thrush.

If your child has oral thrush, they could exhibit the same symptoms as those that can appear in other sufferers, such as:

  • Their inside cheeks, tongue, tonsils, gums, or lips may have spots or patches that are white or yellow.
  • A little blood if you scrape the places
  • A scorching or painful feeling in their mouth
  • At the corners of their mouth, they had dry, cracked skin.

Babies who have oral thrush may also have trouble eating and exhibit irritability or fussiness.

Schedule a visit with your baby’s doctor if you think they could have oral thrush. Both of you will require antifungal medications if your infant develops oral thrush while you are still breastfeeding them. Learn why maintaining your health and the health of your child depends on this.

Adults & Oral Thrush

Due to their weakened immune systems, newborns and older persons tend to get oral thrush more frequently. However, anyone can experience it.

Oral thrush can affect young adults, particularly if their immune systems are compromised. For instance, adults who have a history of specific medical illnesses, medical treatments, or lifestyle choices that compromise their immune systems are more prone to acquire thrush.

Oral thrush is unlikely to result in significant issues in adults who are otherwise healthy. However, if your immune system isn’t functioning properly, the infection may spread to other body areas.

Oral Thrush Prevention

Try these things to lower your risk of oral thrush:

  • Keep your utensils and cups to yourself.
  • To promote the health of your immune system, consume a balanced diet and lead an overall healthy lifestyle.
  • By brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and scheduling routine dental visits, you can maintain proper oral hygiene.
  • Make an appointment with your doctor if your mouth is consistently dry and adhere to their advised course of action.
  • If you use dentures, take them out before bed, clean them every day, and check that they are properly fitted.
  • After using a corticosteroid inhaler, you should clean your teeth or rinse your mouth.
  • Take action to control your blood sugar if you have diabetes.

Get medical attention if you get a yeast infection anywhere else on your body besides your mouth. The spread of an infection from one area of your body to another can happen occasionally.

Food & Oral Thrush

To fully understand how nutrition could impact oral thrush, more investigation is required.

According to researchers, consuming specific probiotic foods or taking probiotic supplements may help prevent the spread of C. Albicans. Probiotics may be useful in treating or preventing oral thrush, but further study is required to fully understand this.

Some individuals think limiting or avoiding particular foods may also help slow the spread of C. Albicans. For instance, some people have claimed that cutting less on refined sugars and carbohydrates can help treat or prevent yeast infections like oral thrush.

On the foundation of these ideas, the “candida diet” was created. However, there is no evidence to recommend this diet. Learn more about the specifics of this diet and the limitations of the available scientific research.