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Oral Thrush – Symptoms, Pictures, Causes, Treatment, Complications

Written by Dr.Mary

What is Oral Thrush?

This is an infection where the fungus known as candida albicans builds up inside the mouth on its lining.

This causes white cream lesions, normally on the inner cheeks or tongue. These lesions or sores often are painful and can vaguely bleed when they are scraped. Often oral thrush can also spread to the mouth roof, gums, back of the throat or the tonsils.

This type of infection can affect anyone but it is most likely to happen in people who are denture wears, have immune systems which are compromised or use corticosteroids which are inhaled – as well has babies. This condition is a fairly minor dilemma if the individual is in good health, but if the person has an immune system which is weakened, the symptoms of this yeast infection can be much more severe as well as difficult to manage.

Oral Thrush Symptoms

In Adults and Children

Primarily the oral thrush has no symptoms of note. Symptoms and signs can develop rapidly, but can continue for a rather extended time and may include:

  • Lesions with appearance resembling cottage cheese
  • White creamy lesions on inner cheeks, tongue as well as the mouth roof, tonsils and gums
  • Pain
  • Corner of the mouth with cracking
  • Slight bleeding when lesions are scraped or rubbed
  • Feeling of cotton in the mouth

In cases which are more severe, these lesions can develop downward into the esophagus which is the muscular, long tube extending from the rear of the mouth down to the stomach. When this occurs, there can be problems with swallowing as well as a feeling of something being stuck in the throat.

Infants as well as mothers who are breast feeding

As well as the white lesions in the mouth, infants can start having difficulties feeding as well as being irritable and fussy. The babies can as well pass this infection to the mothers while breast-feeding. This infection can then be past back and forth from babies’ mouth and the mothers’ breasts. Women with infected breasts can experience symptoms and signs which follow:

  • Unusually sensitive nipples which are red or itchy
  • Unusual pain while nursing or nipples which or painful between feedings
  • Flaky or shiny skin on the areola
  • Stabbing like pains within the breast

If your baby or you develop white lesions which are painful in the mouth, see your primary care physician. If this infection develops in children who are older or adolescents with no danger factors, seek medical attention. This is because a primary state for instance diabetes may be possible.

Oral Thrush Causes

This infection as well as other yeast infections may occur when the system of immunity is damaged because of sickness or medications such as steriods as well as when antibiotics disrupt the natural floral of germs in the body.

Under normal conditions, the system of immunity works to keep away any invading germs which are harmful, for example, viruses, fungi as well as bacteria. It maintains stability between healthy and unhealthy microbes which normally live in the body. But with individuals whose protective systems have failed, oral thrush infections can take hold.

Examples of these illnesses which can make an individual at risk to these infections include:


The “human immunodeficiency virus” or HIV which causes AIDS – can damage or destroy cells of the immune system which makes an individual vulnerable to infections which are opportunistic and which the body could typically defend against. Bouts which are repeated can be the initial symptom of an HIV infection.


When the individual is battling cancer, the system of immunity is normally damaged from both the disease as well as from treatments for instances chemotherapy, or radiation, increasing the risk of yeast infections such as oral thrush.


Diabetes mellitus

When an individual does not realize they are diabetic or if the diabetes is not being controlled, the saliva can contain very large quantities of sugar and this promotes the development of candida.

Yeast infections in the vagina

Vaginal infections of yeast develop by the identical fungus which causes oral thrush. Even if this infection is not dangerous, if an individual is pregnant the fungus can be passed on during delivery to the baby. Because of this the newborn can develop oral thrust.

Although anyone may develop this infection, oral thrush is most common in certain people. Risk factors can include:

  • Compromised immune system
  • Person is an infant
  • Denture wearing
  • Other disease such as anemia or diabetes
  • Using some drugs such as inhaled or oral steriods or some antibiotics
  • Radiation or chemotherapy for cancer
  • Smoking
  • Conditions which cause dry mouth

Oral Thrush Complications

Infections of oral thrush are rarely a problem for a healthy individual although these infections can return after being treated. But for those with compromised systems of immunity, thrush may be very severe.

For example, if an individual has HIV, they can have serious symptoms in the esophagus or mouth that can make eating difficult or painful. If this infection extends to the intestines, it can be difficult to get sufficient nutrition. Additionally, thrush is most likely to extend to other areas of the body when the individual has cancer or other conditions which weaken the system of immunity. In these systems, the areas more likely to be involved can include the lungs, digestive tract as well as the liver.

Oral Thrush Treatments

For nursing mothers and infants

If those breast feeding infants who have oral thrush, the mother and the baby will do better if you are both treated. If not, the infection is likely to be passed back and forth. The doctor can order a mild medication which is antifungal for the baby as well as cream which is antifungal for the mothers to use for the breasts. For babies who use a pacifier and use a bottle, the nipples as well as pacifiers need to be rinsed in a rinse of vinegar and water daily and be allowed to dry in the air. This will prevent growth of fungus.

For healthy children as well as adults

Healthy children or adults with oral thrush, eating yogurt or taking acidophilus capsules or liquid can help lessen the infection. Acidophilus as well as yogurt do not eliminate the fungus but help to re-establish the normal flora in the body.

For adults with weakened immune systems

Often, the doctor can advise an antifungal drug which can come in several forms, such as tablets, lozenges or liquid to rinse in the mouth then swallow.

Candida albicans often can turn out to be resistant to drugs which are antifungal, especially in those with late-stage infections of HIV.

Some antifungal drugs can cause damage to the liver. Because of this, the physician will possibly need to carry out blood tests in order to monitor liver functions, especially when prolonged treatment is needed or there is a history of disease of the liver.

Oral Thrush Pictures

  1. What is a quick home cure for oral thursh??

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