Thrush (Oral Candidiasis)

How do physicians diagnose thrush?

Thrush is clinically diagnosed by a physician or dentist when the characteristic-looking white patches are found in the mouth or throat.

To confirm the diagnosis, or if there is question about whether the white patches are caused by the Candida fungus, a scraping may be done. The doctor or dentist can scrape off a small amount of the white matter from the mouth or throat and look at it under a microscope.

Thrush that is located farther down the throat or in the esophagus is usually found by doing a procedure called an endoscopy. In this procedure, the doctor passes a small camera through the back of the throat into the esophagus and into the stomach to observe the tissue and take samples. If the white lesions are found, they may be biopsied or scraped to confirm the diagnosis of thrush. This procedure is usually performed by a gastroenterologist.

Reviewed on 4/23/2014