Oral Thrush also known as Candidiasis

Oral Thrush or Candidiasis what is it: Oral thrush is a fungal infection, which targets the mucous membrane in the oral cavity, it is caused by the fungus ‘candida albicans’ when this bacteria infiltrates into the oral mucosal layers. It is seen in babies as well as adults.

How does one acquire Oral thrush:

As we know it caused by a fungus which is a commensal in the oral cavity, the primary reason is decrease in immunity. Some of the secondary reasons are use of long term use of Antibiotics, Uncontrolled Diabetes, Smokers, patients undergoing chemotherapy, under nutrition, AIDS, some people wearing dentures which do not fit properly have a continuous presence of a bleeding lesion or ulcer in the mucous membrane which acts as the site of entry of the commensal into the mucous membrane to cause the disease.

It is caused by Yeast like Fungus called Candida Albicans which is a Gram Positive fungus

Types of Candidiasis:


1. Acute Pseudomembranous:

  • Commonly known as trush, It occurs in Debilitated immunocompromised patients or chronically ill or in infants
  • It is charecterised by soft elevated plaque. Common on tongue and mucosa It can be wiped off with Gauze leaving a normally appearing mucosa or erythematous area.

2. Acute Atrophic:

  • Normally candidiasis is painless
  • This is the type which is painful


1. Chronic Hyperplastic:

  • This is also called leukoplakia type having malignant potential

2. Chronic atrophic candidiasis:

  • Denture candidiasis or denture sore mouth
  • Angular chelitis
  • Median Rhomboid glossitis

3. Chronic Muccocutaneous:

  • It is characterized by involvement of skin and mucous membranes

Sites Of Appearance:

Commonly present on Tongue, soft palate, inner parts of cheeks, and all the parts of oral cavity lined by mucous membrane like gums, back of the mouth, oesophagus.

Candidiasis is also seen as a Systemic infection when these colonies of bacteria enter into the stomach and the circulating system.

Symptoms (or) the clinical features: There is an appearance of small white or slightly yellow spots, raised slightly above the surface of the mucous membrane they affect, they are normally painless in babies but in adults there is a burning sensation and when they are removed by scrapping they leave a bleeding lesion on the surface where they were present earlier.

Coping with the Symptoms: Thrush can make the mouth so sensitive that it is impossible to perform regular oral hygiene. So Use of a very soft toothbrush is very helpful. It can often help to rinse the mouth with a diluted solution of 3 per cent hydrogen peroxide.


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