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Oral Thrush
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Oral thrush - infection of yeast fungus, Candida albicans

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INFECTIOUS DISEASE

Fungal

From MayoClinic.com

Oral thrush is an infection of yeast fungus, Candida albicans, in the mucous membranes of the mouth. Like most healthy people, you probably have small amounts of the fungus Candida albicans in your mouth and digestive tract and on your skin. You can't see the fungus and normally won't know it's there - Candida usually doesn't cause problems because normal bacteria (flora) in your body keep its growth in check. But when this balance is disturbed - by medications, stress or illness - Candida can grow out of control, leading to problems such as diaper rash, vaginal yeast infections and a mouth infection called oral thrush.

Oral thrush causes creamy white lesions, usually on your tongue or inner cheeks. The lesions can be painful and may bleed slightly when you scrape them or brush your teeth. Sometimes the infection may spread to the roof of your mouth, your gums, tonsils or the back of your throat.

Although oral thrush can affect anyone, it occurs most often in babies and toddlers, older adults, and people whose immune systems have been compromised by illness or medications. It's usually a minor problem for healthy children and adults and can be effectively treated with natural remedies or antifungal medications. But for people with weakened immune systems, symptoms may be more severe, widespread and difficult to control.

Signs and symptoms

Oral thrush usually produces creamy white lesions on your tongue and inner cheeks and sometimes on the roof of your mouth, gums and tonsils. The lesions, which resemble cottage cheese, can be painful and may bleed slightly when rubbed or scraped. Although signs and symptoms often develop suddenly, they may become chronic, persisting over a long period of time.

Oral thrush produces slightly raised, creamy white, sore patches in your mouth or on your tongue....

In severe cases, the lesions may spread downward into your esophagus — the long, muscular tube stretching from the back of your mouth to your stomach (Candida esophagitis). Signs and symptoms of Candida esophagitis may include:

  • Pain or difficulty swallowing

  • A feeling that food gets stuck in your throat or the middle of your chest

  • Possible fever if the infection spreads beyond your esophagus

Symptoms in infants and breast-feeding mothers

Healthy newborns with oral thrush usually develop symptoms during the first few weeks of life. In addition to the distinctive white mouth lesions, infants may have trouble feeding or be fussy and irritable. They can also pass the infection to their mothers during breast-feeding. Women whose breasts are infected with Candida may experience the following signs and symptoms:

  • Unusually red or sensitive nipples

  • Taut, shiny skin on the areola

  • Unusual pain during nursing or painful nipples between feedings

  • Stabbing pains deep within the breast

 

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This information is provided for general medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient's medical condition.
In no event will The DrEddyClinic.com be liable for any decision made or action taken in reliance upon the information provided through this web site.

 

 



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Last Modified : 03/15/08 01:40 AM