Oral thrush — also called oral candidiasis (kan-dih-DIE-uh-sis) — is a condition in which the fungus Candida albicans accumulates on the lining of your mouth. Candida is a normal organism in your mouth, but sometimes it can overgrow and cause symptoms.
Oral thrush causes creamy white lesions, usually on your tongue or inner cheeks. Sometimes oral thrush may spread to the roof of your mouth, your gums or tonsils, or the back of your throat.
Although oral thrush can affect anyone, it's more likely to occur in babies and older adults because they have reduced immunity; in other people with suppressed immune systems or certain health conditions; or people who take certain medications. Oral thrush is a minor problem if you're healthy, but if you have a weakened immune system, symptoms may be more severe and difficult to control.
July 22, 2017
- Oropharyngeal/esophageal candidiasis ("thrush"). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/candidiasis/thrush/. Accessed May 23, 2017.
- Kauffman CA. Overview of candida infections. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 24, 2017.
- Kauffman CA. Clinical manifestations of oropharyngeal and esophageal candidiasis. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 23, 2017.
- Kauffman CA. Treatment of oropharyngeal and esophageal candidiasis. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 23, 2017.
- Oral candidiasis (yeast infection). American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology. http://www.aaomp.bizland.com/public/oral-candidiasis.php. Accessed May 23, 2017.
- 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.
- Millsop JW, et al. Oral candidiasis. Clinics in Dermatology. 2016;34:487.
- Candidiasis (mucocutaneous). Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/en-pr/professional/dermatologic-disorders/fungal-skin-infections/candidiasis-mucocutaneous. Accessed May 23, 2017.
- Telles DR, et al. Oral fungal infections: Diagnosis and management. Dental Clinics of North America. 2017;61:319.
- Thrush and breastfeeding. La Leche League GB. https://www.laleche.org.uk/thrush/. Accessed May 23, 2017.
- Wilkinson JM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 5, 2017.