Thrush (Oral Candidiasis)

What are thrush symptoms and signs?

Thrush is characterized by a white coating or white patches on the mouth, inner cheeks, tongue, and the back of the throat. The tissue under the white patches is often red, raw, and sore. The lesions can be painful and even bleed when scraped. Some general symptoms of thrush are as follows:

  • Characteristic white patches
  • Cracking at the outer edges of the lips (cheilosis)
  • Dry mouth
  • Feeling of food stuck in the throat
  • Soreness in teeth
  • Strange or unpleasant taste in mouth
  • Bad breath

In severe cases of thrush, the esophagus, leading down to the stomach, may also be involved. This will cause pain with swallowing. If someone has a weakened immune system (HIV/AIDS, cancer, chemotherapy, etc.), the Candida fungus can spread to other parts of the body and cause a systemic infection. If a person has signs or symptoms of thrush and develops a fever, shaking or chills, or difficulty swallowing, contact a doctor immediately.

Reviewed on 4/23/2014