Oral thrush is seldom a problem for healthy children and adults, although the infection may return even after it's been treated. For people with lowered immunity, such as from HIV or cancer, however, thrush can be more serious. Untreated oral thrush can lead to more-serious systemic candida infections.

If you have a suppressed immune system:

  • Thrush is more likely to spread to other parts of your body, such as your digestive tract, lungs, liver and heart valves
  • You may have especially severe symptoms in your mouth or esophagus, which can make eating painful and difficult
  • The infection can spread to the intestines, making it difficult to receive adequate nutrition
Aug. 12, 2014

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