Treatment

The goal of any oral thrush treatment is to stop the rapid spread of the fungus, but the best approach may depend on your age, your overall health and the cause of the infection. Eliminating underlying causes, when possible, can prevent recurrence.

  • Healthy adults and children. Your doctor may recommend antifungal medication. This comes in several forms, including lozenges, tablets, or a liquid that you swish in your mouth and then swallow. If these topical medications are not effective, medication may be given that works throughout your body.
  • Infants and nursing mothers. If you're breast-feeding and your infant has oral thrush, you and your baby could pass the infection back and forth. Your doctor may prescribe a mild antifungal medication for your baby and an antifungal cream for your breasts.
  • Adults with weakened immune systems. Most often your doctor will recommend antifungal medication.

Thrush may return even after it's been treated if the underlying cause, such as poorly disinfected dentures or inhaled steroid use, isn't addressed.

July 22, 2017
References
  1. Oropharyngeal/esophageal candidiasis ("thrush"). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/candidiasis/thrush/. Accessed May 23, 2017.
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  3. Kauffman CA. Clinical manifestations of oropharyngeal and esophageal candidiasis. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 23, 2017.
  4. Kauffman CA. Treatment of oropharyngeal and esophageal candidiasis. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 23, 2017.
  5. Oral candidiasis (yeast infection). American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology. http://www.aaomp.bizland.com/public/oral-candidiasis.php. Accessed May 23, 2017.
  6. Onishi A, et al. Interventions for the management of esophageal candidiasis in immunocompromised patients. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/wol1/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD011938/abstract. Accessed May 23, 2017.
  7. Millsop JW, et al. Oral candidiasis. Clinics in Dermatology. 2016;34:487.
  8. Candidiasis (mucocutaneous). Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/en-pr/professional/dermatologic-disorders/fungal-skin-infections/candidiasis-mucocutaneous. Accessed May 23, 2017.
  9. Telles DR, et al. Oral fungal infections: Diagnosis and management. Dental Clinics of North America. 2017;61:319.
  10. Thrush and breastfeeding. La Leche League GB. https://www.laleche.org.uk/thrush/. Accessed May 23, 2017.
  11. Wilkinson JM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 5, 2017.