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Oral thrush is a yeast infection of the mouth that is caused by a fungal microorganism called Candida albicans. Oral thrust is most common in infants and is generally not a serious condition in itself. However, it can be uncomfortable and lead to difficulties with eating or infant feeding if it does not resolve or is not treated. It can also be a symptom of a more serious condition, such as HIV/AIDS or diabetes.
The fungal yeast that causes oral thrush, Candida albicans, normally lives in the mouth in a certain balance with other microorganisms, such as bacteria. However, some factors or conditions may result in an overgrowth of Candida albicans. Candida albicans can also cause a yeast or thrush infection in the vagina, resulting in the exposure of an infant to the infection during the vaginal birthing process. It can also cause an infection in a woman's nipples, which can then be transmitted to an infant's mouth during breastfeeding.
People at risk for oral thrush include those taking strong antibiotics, especially for a long period of time. Antibiotics kill bacteria, which can alter the balance of microorganisms in the mouth and result in a proliferation of yeast.
People with weakened immune systems are also more likely to develop oral thrush and have recurrent bouts of the infection. This includes people with HIV/AIDS or those taking steroid medications or on chemotherapy, which all suppress the immune system. People with diabetes are more likely to develop oral thrush because the elevated level of sugar in the body provide food for yeast and encourage its overgrowth. Other people at risk include the very young and very old and people with ill-fitting dentures.
Oral thrush causes a rash in the mouth which can become sore and painful and cause further problems. For more information on symptoms and complications, refer to symptoms of oral thrush.
Making a diagnosis of oral thrush includes performing a complete medical evaluation and history and physical examination, including an oral exam. Diagnosis is generally made based on the typical appearance of the oral thrush sores and a history of factors that make the infection likely. Diagnostic testing may include taking a small sample or swab of the rash and examining it under a microscope to confirm an overgrowth of the yeast, Candida albicans, which causes the infection.
It is possible that a diagnosis of oral thrush can be missed or delayed because symptoms may be mild. For more information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of oral thrush.
Oral thrush can be successfully treated with an individualized treatment plan that best fits the patient's age, medical history, and addresses underlying risk factors, such as diabetes. Treatment may include improving oral hygiene, eating certain foods, and medication. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of oral thrush....more »
A diagnosis of oral thrush begins with taking a thorough health history, including symptoms, and performing a physical exam that includes an oral exam. A diagnosis of oral thrush may be overlooked or delayed because symptoms may be mild in some people or may be attributed to other causes, such as canker sores, cold sores, burning the tongue with hot foods or eating spicy foods. Some people ...more misdiagnosis »
The following medical conditions are some of the possible
causes of Oral thrush.
There are likely to be other possible causes, so ask your doctor
about your symptoms.
Home medical tests possibly related to Oral thrush:
Listed below are some combinations of symptoms associated with Oral thrush, as listed in our database. Visit the Symptom Checker, to add and remove symptoms and research your condition.
The most effective treatment plan for oral thrush uses a multifaceted approach. The first step in treatment is prevention. Prevention measures include maintaining good oral hygiene and ensuring dentures fit properly.
To prevent transmission of a yeast infection to a newborn infant, pregnant women should consult with their licensed health care provider ...Oral thrush Treatments
Some of the possible treatments listed in sources for treatment of Oral thrush may include:
Review further information on Oral thrush Treatments.
The following drugs, medications, substances or toxins are some of the possible
causes of Oral thrush as a symptom.
Always advise your doctor of any medications or treatments you are using,
including prescription, over-the-counter, supplements, herbal or alternative treatments.
Some of the comorbid or associated medical symptoms for Oral thrush may include these symptoms:
Research the causes of these more general types of symptom:
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Read more about causes and Oral thrush deaths.
Rare type of breast cancer without a lump: There is a less common form of breast cancer called inflammatory breast cancer. Its symptoms can be an inflammation of the breast tissue, such as with a breast rash...read more »
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Candidiasis of the mouth and throat, also known as a "thrush"... (Source: excerpt from Oropharyngeal Candidiasis: DBMD)
The list below shows some of the causes of Oral thrush mentioned in various sources:
This information refers to the general prevalence and incidence of these diseases, not to how likely they are to be the actual cause of Oral thrush. Of the 10 causes of Oral thrush that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:
The following list of conditions have 'Oral thrush' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.
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This information shows analysis of the list of causes of Oral thrush based
on whether certain risk factors apply to the patient:
Medical Conditions associated with Oral thrush:
Mouth symptoms (6864 causes), Infection-related symptoms (1293 causes), Face symptoms (8109 causes), Head symptoms (10192 causes), Mucus membrane symptoms (832 causes), Throat symptoms (3410 causes), Respiratory symptoms (5166 causes), Breathing symptoms (3381 causes), Breath symptoms (3023 causes)
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