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Oral candidiasis (thrush)

Oral candidiasis (kan-dih-DEYE-uh-suhss), or thrush, is a type of fungal infection inside the mouth. Thrush causes swelling and a thick white coating on your mouth, tongue, throat, and esophagus. (The infection is only called oral candidiasis if it appears in your mouth.) Thrush happens when candida, a fungus that is normally found in the body, grows too much in these areas. It also can overgrow in your vagina. This is called a vaginal yeast infection. Thrush is common in people living with HIV and can be hard to get rid of. Thrush is partly diagnosed by how your mouth looks. A doctor might also take a scraping of the white patches in your mouth that will appear with an infection. Thrush is usually first treated with prescription lozenges and mouth rinses. If this doesn't work or the thrush keeps coming back, antifungal drugs are used. If thrush is not treated, symptoms will last. In very rare cases, untreated thrush may enter the bloodstream and spread throughout the body.

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More information on Oral candidiasis (thrush)

Explore other publications and websites

  • Mouth Problems and HIV - People who are infected with HIV can also have problems with their oral health. This publication discusses oral problems common among people with HIV and how they can be treated.
  • Oral Candidiasis and HIV Disease (Copyright © Project Inform) - This publication explains oral candidiasis, or thrush, which is a fungal infection common in people with HIV/AIDS. This fact sheet covers prevention, diagnosis, treatment, the side effects and drug interactions of anti-fungal medications, and pregnancy.
  • Oral Manifestations of HIV (Copyright © UCSF) - This website has information on different types of canadidiasis (thrush), histoplasmosis, mouth lesions, and bacterial lesions of the mouth associated with HIV.
  • Thrush - This publication talks about the causes, risk factors, symptoms, treatment, and complications of oral thrush.

Content last updated: July 01, 2011.

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