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Thrush (Oral Candidiasis)

Thrush facts

  • Thrush (oropharyngeal candidiasis) is a medical condition in which a yeast-shaped fungus called Candida albicans overgrows in the mouth and throat.
  • Thrush may be triggered to occur by a variety of factors, including illness, pregnancy, medications, smoking, or dentures.
  • Thrush in newborns and infants is common and usually not harmful.
  • Risk factors for thrush include weakened immune systems, medications, smoking, or stress.
  • Signs and symptoms of thrush include
    • white patches in the mouth, inner cheeks, throat, palate, and tongue, as well as
    • soreness and mouth pain.
  • Thrush is usually diagnosed by clinical examination by a physician or dentist.
  • Treatment for thrush depends on the severity and the cause and can include simple home remedies, oral medications, or systemic medications.
  • The prognosis for mild cases of thrush is good. The outlook for severe cases depends on the underlying cause and the status of the patient's immune system.
  • It's possible to prevent thrush in most cases by risk factor modification.
Reviewed on 11/30/2016

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