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Oral Thrush

What is Oral Thrush ?

It is an infection caused by fungus on the tongue and lining of the mouth. It presents with white plaques in the mouth affecting the upper part of the mouth, gums, tonsils, or upper throat. Anyone can have oral thrush, but it is more common in children and older adults, or people taking certain medications.

What is Oral Thrush


Oral thrush is caused by an overgrowth of the Candida fungus in the mouth, typically due to weakened immunity or prolonged antibiotic use. Good oral hygiene and addressing risk factors are essential for prevention.

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Oral Thrush transmission
Oral Thrush Prevention
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Following these measures can reduce the risk of oral thrush:

  • Brush at least twice a day and use dental rinse and floss.
  • Removing dentures during the night.
  • Visit the dentist regularly.
  • Reduce sugar consumption.
  • Treat dry mouth or xerostomia.

Signs and Symptoms

The most common symptoms of Oral Thrush are:

  • Creamy white lesions on the tongue, cheeks, roof of the mouth, gums, and tonsils.
  • Redness, burning, or swelling with difficulty eating and swallowing.
  • Slight bleeding if lesions rupture
  • Raised lesions with a cottage cheese-like appearance
  • Cottony sensation in the mouth
  • Loss of taste
  • Redness, irritation, and pain under the prosthesis


Treatment is based on antifungals such as:


Mycoplasma treatment plans

Common questions about Oral Thrush


Oral thrush typically appears as creamy white lesions on the tongue, inner cheeks, roof of the mouth, gums, and tonsils. These lesions can be slightly raised and might look like cottage cheese. Unlike milk residues or food particles, thrush patches are difficult to wipe away and may bleed if rubbed. If you're unsure, a healthcare provider can diagnose the condition through an online consultation by examining images or video of your mouth.

Oral thrush itself is not considered highly contagious in the same way as viral or bacterial infections. However, the yeast that causes thrush, Candida, can be transmitted through close contact, especially among those with weakened immune systems or infants. It's important to practice good hygiene to prevent the spread of infection.

For infants with oral thrush, it’s important to treat both the baby and the breastfeeding mother to prevent recurrent infections. Antifungal medications can be prescribed for the baby’s mouth and the mother’s breasts. Sterilize all feeding equipment and pacifiers regularly to prevent reinfection.

If the usual treatments for oral thrush are ineffective, it’s crucial to follow up with your healthcare provider. They may suggest a different antifungal medication, higher doses, or extended treatment. Additionally, they might recommend further testing to check for underlying conditions that could be impacting your immune response.

Probiotics can help restore the natural balance of bacteria and yeast in your body, which can be beneficial in both treating and preventing oral thrush. Consuming probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut, or taking probiotic supplements, can support oral and gastrointestinal health.

If left untreated, oral thrush can spread to other parts of the body, including the lungs, liver, and skin. This is particularly concerning for people with weakened immune systems, where the infection can lead to more serious health problems. It can also lead to malnutrition and dehydration if painful lesions in the mouth make it difficult to eat and drink.

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