- Oral thrush, also called oral candidiasis, is a condition in which the fungus Candida albicans accumulates on the lining of the mouth. Candida is a normal organism in the 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 the mouth, the gums or tonsils, or the back of the 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.
1. Creamy white lesions on the tongue, inner cheeks, and sometimes on the roof of the mouth, gums and tonsils
2. Slightly raised lesions with a cottage cheese-like appearance
Redness, burning or soreness that may be severe enough to cause difficulty eating or swallowing
Slight bleeding if the lesions are rubbed or scraped
Cracking and redness at the corners of the mouth
A cottony feeling in the mouth
Loss of taste
Redness, irritation and pain under dentures (denture stomatitis)
- In severe cases, usually related to cancer or a weakened immune system from HIV/AIDS, the lesions may spread downward into your esophagus — the long, muscular tube stretching from the back of your mouth to your stomach (Candida esophagitis). If this occurs, you may experience difficulty swallowing and pain or feel as if food is getting stuck in your throat.
- Infants and breast feeding mothers: In addition to the distinctive white mouth lesions, infants may have trouble feeding or be fussy and irritable. They can pass the infection to their mothers during breast-feeding. The infection may then pass back and forth between the mother's breasts and the baby's mouth.
- Women whose breasts are infected with candida may experience these signs and symptoms:
Unusually red, sensitive, cracked or itchy nipples
Shiny or flaky skin on the darker, circular area around the nipple (areola)
Unusual pain during nursing or painful nipples between feedings
Stabbing pains deep within the breast