Oral Thrush Prevention, Complications And Treatment Options


Oral candidiasis, also known as oral thrush, is a disorder in which Candida albicans build up on the inside of your mouth. In your mouth, candida is a typical organism, but occasionally it can overgrow and create symptoms.

Creamy white lesions, typically on the tongue or inner cheeks, are a symptom of oral thrush. Sometimes, the tonsils, gums, and the back of the throat can become infected with oral thrush.

Although oral thrush can affect anybody, it is more common in infants and older individuals due to their weakened immune systems, as well as in other persons with weakened immune systems, specific medical problems, or those taking particular drugs. If you are healthy, oral thrush is only a small issue, but if you have an Immune system which is compromised, symptoms might be more severe and challenging to manage.


Your immune system typically works to fend off dangerous invaders like viruses, bacteria, and fungus while preserving a balance between "good" and "bad" germs that typically live in your body. Occasionally, these defences break down, leading to an increase in candida fungus and the development of an oral thrush infection.

Candida albicans is the most prevalent kind of candida fungus. Your chance of developing oral thrush may be increased by a number of circumstances, including a compromised immune system.

How to check if you have Oral thrush?

If you or your kid starts to develop white lesions within the mouth, speak with your doctor or dentist.

Whether you see thrush in an older child, adolescent, or adult who is otherwise healthy, consult your doctor to see if further testing is necessary to rule out an underlying medical disease or another cause.

Risk Factors

If any of the following apply to you, your chance of developing oral thrush infection may be higher:

Lowered immunity. Due to lowered immunity, newborns and elderly individuals are more susceptible to developing oral thrush. Your immune system may be suppressed by some medical disorders and treatments, including HIV/AIDS, cancer and associated therapies, organ transplantation, and medications that are necessary to suppress the immune system.

Diabetes. Your saliva could contain a lot of sugar if you have diabetes that is untreated or poorly managed, which promotes the growth of candida.

Yeast infections in the vagina. Yeast infections in the vagina are also brought on by the same fungus that causes mouth thrush. Your infant might get the virus from you.

Medications. Prednisone, inhaled corticosteroids, and antibiotics, among other medications, alter the natural equilibrium thrush in your mouth that might be exacerbated by an overgrowth of microbes in your body.

Other oral health issues. Wearing dentures, especially upper dentures, or having illnesses that cause dry mouth can both increase the risk of oral thrush.


You might not even first experience oral thrush symptoms. Some warning signs and symptoms include:

  • Creamy white lesions on your tongue, inner cheeks, and occasionally on your tonsils, gums, and roof of your mouth
  • Cottage cheese-like blemishes that are slightly elevated
  • Pain, redness, or burning that may be so intense that it prevents you from swallowing or eating
  • Scratching or rubbing the lesions may cause some little bleeding.
  • Your mouth's edges may crackle and get red.
  • The mouth feels like cotton
  • Loss of flavour
  • Pain, redness, and irritation beneath dentures (denture stomatitis)
  • The lesions may progress lower into your oesophagus, the long, muscular tube extending from the back, in extreme cases, typically linked to cancer or an immune system compromised by HIV/AIDS. from the lips to the stomach (Candida esophagitis). If this happens, you can have soreness in your throat, trouble swallowing, or the sensation that food is becoming trapped there.

Newborns and nursing moms

Along with the recognisable white mouth sores, newborns may also have eating issues or become restless and agitated. During breastfeeding, they might infect their moms and spread the disease. The infection can then spread from the baby's mouth to the mother's breasts.

These indications and symptoms may appear in females with candida-infected breasts:

  • Very sensitive, itchy, cracked, or red nipples
  • On the darker, rounder part of the nipple, skin that is glossy or flaky (areola)
  • Unusual discomfort when breastfeeding or uncomfortable nipples in between feedings
  • Deep breast sensations that feel like stabbings


Your chance of having candida infections may be decreased by doing the following actions:

Wash your mouth out. If you must use a corticosteroid inhaler, remember to wash your teeth or rinse your mouth with water after using the drug.

At least twice daily brushing is recommended, along with daily flossing or as frequently as your dentist suggests.

Look over your dentures. At bedtime, remove your dentures. Make sure your dentures are comfortable and do not irritate you. Every day, clean your dentures. Find out how to clean your type of dentures by seeing your dentist.

Especially if you have diabetes or use dentures, schedule frequent dental visits. 

Watch your diet. Consider reducing the quantity of sugar-containing meals you consume. These could promote the development of candida.

If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar under control. A healthy blood sugar level can lower the quantity of sugar in your saliva and prevent candida from flourishing. As soon as you notice a vaginal yeast infection, get treatment.

Medicate your dry mouth. Consult your doctor for advice on how to prevent or manage your dry mouth.


Any oral thrush therapy should aim to slow the fungus's spread, but the ideal strategy may vary depending on your age, general health, and the source of the infection. When possible, removing the underlying reasons can stop a recurrence.

Healthy children and adults. Your doctor could advise using antifungal medication. This is available as pills, lozenges, or a liquid that you swirl about in your mouth. If these topical treatments are ineffective, you could be given a drug that affects your entire body.

New moms and babies. If you are breastfeeding your baby and he or she has oral thrush, you two might contract the illness from one another. For your infant, your doctor could suggest a moderate antifungal drug as well as a cream that fights fungus.

Adults with compromised immunity. Your doctor will probably advise taking an antifungal drug. If the underlying cause, such as using inhaled steroids or having improperly cleaned dentures, is not addressed, thrush may come back even after treatment.

Complications of Oral Thrush

For healthy children and adults, oral thrush seldom poses an issue.

Thrush can be more dangerous for persons whose immune system has been compromised, such as those who have cancer treatment or HIV/AIDS. Oral thrush left untreated might develop into more dangerous systemic candida infections. Thrush may spread to your oesophagus or other organs if your immune system is compromised.

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Page last reviewed: Mar 20, 2023

Next review due: Mar 20, 2025

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