Diagnosis

Diagnosis of thrush depends on the location and identifying whether there is an underlying cause.

If thrush is limited to your mouth

To diagnose oral thrush, your doctor or dentist may:

  • Examine your mouth to look at the lesions
  • Take a small scraping of the lesions to examine under a microscope
  • If needed, do a physical exam and certain blood tests to identify any possible underlying medical condition that may be the cause of oral thrush

If thrush is in your esophagus

To help diagnose thrush in your esophagus, your doctor may recommend any or all of these:

  • Biopsy. The tissue sample is cultured on a special medium to help determine which bacteria or fungi, if any, are causing your symptoms.
  • Endoscopic exam. In this procedure, your doctor examines your esophagus, stomach and upper part of your small intestine (duodenum) using a lighted, flexible tube with a camera on the tip (endoscope).
  • Physical exam. If needed, a physical exam and certain blood tests may be done to try to identify any possible underlying medical condition that could cause thrush in the esophagus.