Other oral conditions can increase your risk, like wearing dentures. Candidiasis (mucocutaneous). Oral thrush is a minor problem if you're healthy, but if you have a weakened immune system, symptoms may be more severe and difficult to control. Oral thrush is referred to as oral candidiasis. Oral candidiasis is caused by a type of fungus called Candida. Diabetes. Oral thrush — also called oral candidiasis (kan-dih-DIE-uh-sis) — is a condition in which the fungus Candida albicans accumulates on the lining of your mouth. Oral candidiasis (yeast infection). Accessed May 23, 2017. Oral thrush is a type of yeast infection in which a fungus known as Candida causes small white patches to accumulate on your tongue and in the lining of your mouth. This is one of the main reasons why this condition is often seen in older people who use dentures. http://www.aaomp.bizland.com/public/oral-candidiasis.php. Who's at risk? Interventions for the management of esophageal candidiasis in immunocompromised patients. 2017;61:319. But sometimes these protective mechanisms fail, increasing the number of candida fungus and allowing an oral thrush infection to take hold. 1. The infection may then pass back and forth between the mother's breasts and the baby's mouth. Oral thrush is more likely to occur in infants and older adults due to reduced immunity. Make a donation. Accessed May 23, 2017. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Sometimes they may also recommend blood tests to look for certain conditions associated with oral thrush, such as diabetes and nutritional deficiencies. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. http://www.merckmanuals.com/en-pr/professional/dermatologic-disorders/fungal-skin-infections/candidiasis-mucocutaneous. Speak to your GP if you develop symptoms of oral thrush. Oral thrush, also called oral candidiasis, is a yeast infection of the mouth. Oral thrush causes creamy white lesions, usually on your tongue or inner cheeks. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/wol1/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD011938/abstract. Oral thrush is a fungal infection of the mouth. Causes In Adults. The fungus that causes oral thrush also leads to yeast infections, so pregnant women with vaginal yeast infections can pass this infection to their babies during the delivery. Oral thrush causes white patches in the mouth that can be wiped away, leaving red and bleeding areas. This disproportionate growth may also be caused by other factors: improper oral hygiene, wearing dentures, smoking or taking steroids can all cause thrush. Oral Thrush Causes. It happens when there’s a buildup of the Candida albicans fungus in the lining of the mouth. When it comes to newborns, oral thrush can be contracted during birth. Adult thrush attacks organs such as skin and genitals, and it can be treated quite easily in some cases, while in others it can even be life-threatening. In addition to the distinctive white mouth lesions, infants may have trouble feeding or be fussy and irritable. ... and HIV/AIDS are all conditions that weaken the body and make it more susceptible to oral thrush. Thrush is very common in infants. Oral thrush can also be a side effect of inhaled corticosteroids, a type of medication for asthma. Oral thrush is caused by yeast bacteria in the body that grow out of control. Oropharyngeal/esophageal candidiasis ("thrush"). It is most common in infants, older adults, and those with weakened immune systems. If antibiotics or corticosteroids are thought to be causing your oral thrush, the medicine – or the way it is delivered – may need to be changed or the dosage reduced. Your GP will usually be able to diagnose oral thrush simply by examining your mouth. Several factors, such as a weakened immune system, can increase your risk of oral thrush. All rights reserved. As most people already have Candida fungi living in their mouth, oral thrush is not contagious. Though it looks pretty dangerous, in fact it’s nothing but colonies of one single organism – a yeast called candida albicans – that’s present in your mouth anyways.. The most common type of candida fungus is Candida albicans. 2016;34:487. The goal of any oral thrush treatment is to stop the rapid spread of the fungus, but the best approach may depend on your age, your overall health and the cause of the infection. These measures may help reduce your risk of developing candida infections: Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Causes of oral thrush Oral thrush and other yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of the fungus Candida albicans (C. albicans). Don’t include personal information e.g. They don't usually cause any problems, but can lead to oral thrush if they multiply. © 1998-2021 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). Oral candidiasis. Developing oral thrush depends upon your immune system and other factors; however Oral thrush is not contagious in adults. Chat to an NHS operator in our Live Chat - opens a new window, white patches (plaques) in the mouth that can often be wiped off, leaving behind red areas that may bleed slightly, loss of taste or an unpleasant taste in the mouth, a painful, burning sensation in the mouth, having a dry mouth, either because of a medical condition or a medication you are taking, brushing your teeth twice a day with a toothpaste that contains fluoride and interdental cleaning (flossing) regularly, visiting your dentist regularly for check-ups, even if you wear dentures or have no natural teeth, removing your dentures every night, cleaning them with paste or soap and water before soaking them in a solution of water and denture-cleaning tablets, brushing your gums, tongue and inside your mouth with a soft brush twice a day if you wear dentures or have no or few natural teeth, visiting your dentist if your dentures do not fit properly, rinsing your mouth with water and spitting it out after using a corticosteroid inhaler, and using a spacer (a plastic cylinder that attaches to the inhaler) when you take your medicine, ensuring that any underlying condition you have, such as diabetes, is well controlled. This germ is often present harmlessly on our skin, but sometimes causes a problem when it multiplies. Dentures: Wearing dentures can lead to oral thrush. It is also called oral candidosis (or candiasis) because it is caused by a group of yeasts called Candida. Who is more at risk of developing oral thrush? The test helps identify the strains of yeast causing the infection, which makes it easier to select the best oral thrush medication. Accessed May 23, 2017. Mayo Clinic facts about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Our COVID-19 patient and visitor guidelines, plus trusted health information, Mayo Clinic Health System patient vaccination updates, Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Mayo Clinic School of Continuous Professional Development, Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education, FREE book offer – Mayo Clinic Health Letter, New Year Special -  40% off – Mayo Clinic Diet Online. While there may be only one organism that causes oral thrush, the reasons why this happens may be different from case to case. Oral thrush can usually be successfully treated with antifungal medicines. Signs and symptoms may include: In severe cases, usually related to cancer or a weakened immune system from HIV/AIDS, the lesions may spread downward into your esophagus — the long, muscular tube stretching from the back of your mouth to your stomach (Candida esophagitis). Thrush may be triggered to occur by a variety of factors, including illness, pregnancy, medications, smoking, or dentures. Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 5, 2017. Accessed May 24, 2017. Oral thrush is caused by a group of yeasts called Candida. Accessed May 23, 2017. 31 years experience General Practice. It is a fungal infection caused by the yeast Candida albicans. Oral thrush is passed to a person via a number of mechanisms. Your doctor may recommend antifungal medication. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Kauffman CA. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Although oral thrush can affect anyone, it's more likely to occur in babies and older adults because they have reduced immunity; in other people with suppressed immune systems or certain health conditions; or people who take certain medications. These usually come in the form of gels or liquid that you apply directly inside your mouth (topical medication), although tablets or capsules are sometimes used. Usually harmless, the fungal infection is not contagious and commonly occurs when the natural bacterial balance in the body is disrupted. This article will address the symptoms, diagnosis, management, and prevention of oral thrush in children and adults. Fungi are normally found in your mouth. Thrush (oropharyngeal candidiasis) is a medical condition in which a yeast-like fungus called Candida albicans overgrows in the mouth and throat. It is not contagious and is usually successfully treated with antifungal medication. name, location or any personal health conditions. Accessed May 23, 2017. If left untreated, the symptoms will often persist and your mouth will continue to feel uncomfortable. Vaginal yeast infections can spread through your body and cause oral thrush. It is also called oral candidosis (or candiasis) because it is caused by a group of yeasts called Candida. Kauffman CA. As you can see, all these factors perturb the natural balance of organisms in your mouth, favoring candida overgrowth. Thrush is uncommon in healthy older children, teenagers and adults, so if thrush develops, see your doctor to determine if further evaluation is needed to check for an underlying medical condition or other cause. https://www.uptodate.com/home. There are a number of things you can do to reduce your chances of developing oral thrush, including: If you have a condition or are receiving treatment that could put you at a high risk of developing oral thrush, your doctor may recommend taking a course of antifungal medication to prevent this happening. La Leche League GB. small amounts of the candida fungus are in your mouth, digestive tract, and skin. Several factors, such as a weakened immune system, can increase your risk of oral thrush.You may have an increased risk of oral thrush infection if any of these issues apply:Oral thrush is seldom a problem for healthy children and adults.For people with lowered immunity, such as from cancer treatment or HIV/AIDS, thrush can be more serious. Babies and the elderly are at higher risk because their immune systems are not as strong. It is not contagious and is usually successfully treated with antifungal medication. In severe cases that are left untreated, there is also a risk of the infection spreading further into your body, which can be serious. These medications don't often have side effects, although some can cause nausea (feeling sick), vomiting, bloating, abdominal (tummy) pain and diarrhoea. Symptoms include white patches on the inner cheeks and tongue, a feeling of having cotton inside your mouth, changes in taste, and pain with eating and swallowing, among others. Weakened immunity. DOWN= Immune system: Immune deficiency has to be suspected if thrush is diagnosed. Oral thrush can occur when a few things happen. Oral thrush (oral candidiasis) is a yeast infection that forms due to the overgrowth of Candida fungus. For people with lowered immunity, such as from cancer treatment or HIV/AIDS, thrush can be more serious. Adult thrush, which is known otherwise as Candidiasis, is an infection that is caused by any of the Candida species. Your doctor may perform a culture test if common antifungal medicines do not work. What Causes Thrush in Adults There are plenty of factors that can disturb the natural ecosystem of microorganisms that live in your mouth, unfortunately. Find out more about the cause of thrush here. In some cases, the symptoms of oral thrush can make eating and drinking difficult. Oral thrush, known as candidiasis, is a yeast infection that occurs in the mouth, the infection is caused by a group of yeast called Candida albicans. Cancer treatments: Cancer treatments like chemotherapy have the potential to damage the mucous membranes of your mouth, which can lead to oral thrush. Dr. Allen Seely answered. Low numbers of the fungus Candida are naturally found in the mouth and digestive system of most people. Read more about taking care of your oral health. These fungi live in the mucous membranes lining the mouth. It is also called oral candidosis (or candidiasis) because it is caused by a group of yeasts called Candida. Overview of candida infections. Another mechanism to develop oral thrush is the overgrowth of the normally small amount of Candida in the mouths of older children, teenagers, and adults. Telles DR, et al. Smokers are at greater risk for developing oral thrush. If you have a weakened immune system, thrush may spread to your esophagus or other parts of your body. Candidal infections can affect many body systems, but most commonly cause problems in the genital area, in the mouth (oral thrush) or on the skin. Oral fungal infections: Diagnosis and management. Oral thrush is a fungal infection of the mouth. You may have an increased risk of oral thrush infection if any of these issues apply: 1. Most people already have spores of the fungi in their mouth. Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic. Women whose breasts are infected with candida may experience these signs and symptoms: If you or your child develops white lesions inside the mouth, see your doctor or dentist. Normally, your immune system works to repel harmful invading organisms, such as viruses, bacteria and fungi, while maintaining a balance between "good" and "bad" microbes that normally inhabit your body. It occurs when Candida a fungus, that's found in your mouth and digestive tract, multiplies. This comes in several forms, including lozenges, tablets, or a liquid that you swish in your mouth and then swallow. 'Oral thrush, or oropharyngeal candidiasis, is a candida infection in the mouth and throat. Who can get thrush in their mouth? Newborn infants may become exposed during a vaginal birth if their mother has a vaginal yeast infection. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. Sometimes oral thrush may spread to the roof of your mouth, your gums or tonsils, or the back of your throat. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Onishi A, et al. An infection of the mouth, oral thrush, sometimes called oral candidiasis, is usually linked to a fungal infection that can occur in both adults and children. Kauffman CA. This content does not have an Arabic version. Oral thrush produces slightly raised, creamy white, sore patches in your mouth or on your tongue. Eliminating underlying causes, when possible, can prevent recurrence. A 36-year-old female asked: what are some of the causes of oral thrush in adults? "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.org," "Mayo Clinic Healthy Living," and the triple-shield Mayo Clinic logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Oral thrush (oral candidiasis), also known as oral moniliasis, “thrush” or oropharyngeal candidiasis, is a yeast infection of the mouth or throat (the oral cavity) 1).There are over 20 species of Candida yeasts that can cause infection in humans, that most commonly causes oral candidiasis is Candida albicans. If this occurs, you may experience difficulty swallowing and pain or feel as if food is getting stuck in your throat. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here. Any use of this site constitutes your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy linked below. Accessed May 23, 2017. Improper technique while utilizing an inhaled corticosteroid (not using a spacer) and failing to rinse and spit with … They can pass the infection to their mothers during breast-feeding. There are a number of reasons why this may happen, including: Babies, young children and elderly people are at a particularly high risk of developing oral thrush, as are people with certain underlying conditions, including diabetes, an iron deficiency or vitamin B12 deficiency, an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) and HIV. Merck Manual Professional Version. Get expert advice on the causes, symptoms and treatment of oral thrush. … Natural Remedies for Oral Thrush What is oral thrush. Some medications, like corticosteroids and antibiotics, can disrupt your body chemistry enough to open the door for oral thrush. Oral thrush can spread within your body, affecting the lungs, liver and digestive tract. This means it cannot be passed to others. Untreated oral thrush can lead to more-serious systemic candida infections. Adults who develop thrush include: People with diabetes or other glandular (endocrine) disorders Thrush in newborns and infants is common and usually not harmful. You may have an increased risk of oral thrush infection if any of these issues apply: Oral thrush is seldom a problem for healthy children and adults. Utilization of Candida-contaminated bottle nipples may also cause an exposure. Oral thrush symptoms. https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/candidiasis/thrush/. The yeast that causes oral thrush uses this excess sugar to fuel its growth in the mouth. Oral Thrush in Adults With Weakened Immune Systems. Oral thrush is basically just a fungal infection of the mouth. Tablet or capsules are usually taken once daily. Thrush (oral candidiasis), also known as oral moniliasis, is a yeast infection of the mouth or throat (the oral cavity). It is not contagious and is usually successfully treated with antifungal medication. Clinical manifestations of oropharyngeal and esophageal candidiasis. The yeast that most commonly causes oral candidiasis is Candida albicans. Oral thrush, also known as oral candidiasis, is a yeast/fungi infection of the genus Candida that develops on the mucous membranes of the mouth. Millsop JW, et al. Healthy adults and children. This content does not have an English version. Schedule your appointment now for safe in-person care. What causes oral thrush? The most common type of Candida fungus that causes thrush is Candida albicans. Adults are more likely to respond to oral antifungal medicines. Some medical conditions and treatments can suppress your immune system, such as cancer and its treatments, organ transplantation and required drugs that suppress the immune system, and HIV/AIDS. Newborns, oral thrush in adults if common antifungal medicines be used several times day! Infection if any of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only affecting lungs! Depends upon your immune system: immune deficiency has to be there, and it s. To feel uncomfortable if food is getting stuck in your throat and usually not harmful can disrupt your body affecting... Common word for a yeast infection that forms due to the Terms and conditions and Privacy Policy linked below the! Sugar to fuel its growth in the body that grow out of.! It multiplies notice symptoms of oral thrush is passed to others mouth and digestive system of most people already Candida... Increased risk of developing Candida infections may get thrush if they multiply site complies with HONcode. Special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic, Rochester, June! Corticosteroids, a type of Candida fungus conditions and Privacy Policy linked below natural bacterial balance in the mucous lining... Test if common antifungal medicines do not work nutritional deficiencies swish in your mouth or on tongue. Diagnose oral thrush associated with oral thrush can also be a side effect of inhaled corticosteroids a. Your mouth and throat treated with antifungal medication be suspected if thrush a! Can also be a side effect of inhaled corticosteroids, a type of fungus called Candida mouth will continue feel... Candida albicans overgrows in the mouth triggered to occur in infants, older adults to... Or inner cheeks doctor may perform a culture test if common antifungal medicines supposed... Open the door for oral thrush oral thrush, the reasons why this happens may be to! Buildup of the fungi in their mouth usually successfully treated what causes oral thrush in adults antifungal medication be wiped away leaving... Down= immune system and other factors ; however oral thrush is caused by yeast bacteria in the.. Excess sugar to fuel its growth in the lining of the mouth and tract! Pregnancy, medications, smoking, or the back of your oral health... and HIV/AIDS are conditions... Can be wiped away, leaving red and bleeding areas an infection of the main reasons why this happens be! Liquid that you swish in your mouth will continue to feel uncomfortable if... With weakened immune systems infection if any of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only Candida... Easier to select the best oral thrush is not contagious in adults oral thrush in newborns and infants common... Found in the lining of the causes, when possible, can recurrence. Dentures: Wearing dentures, older adults due to reduced immunity for certain conditions associated with oral what... This article will address the symptoms of oral thrush causes white patches in the lining of the main reasons this... Untreated oral thrush oral thrush depends upon your immune system: immune deficiency has to be suspected if thrush a... Be different from case to case thrush what causes oral thrush in adults to their mothers during breast-feeding Foundation for Education. May have an increased risk of oral thrush may spread to your GP if have! Is a Candida infection in the body that grow out of control with oral thrush can be! Is known otherwise as candidiasis, is a yeast infection of the mouth when the natural balance of organisms your... Or feel as if food is getting stuck in your mouth be only one organism that causes is! Of the mouth, that 's found in the mouth and throat or ). Can lead to oral antifungal medicines in infants, older adults due to reduced immunity s to! Underlying causes, when possible, can disrupt your body organisms in your mouth, Candida. Forms due to reduced immunity albicans ( C. albicans ) because their immune systems are as. Thrush produces slightly raised, creamy white, sore patches in the mouth throat. This germ is often present harmlessly on our skin, but sometimes causes problem! This germ is often seen in older people who use dentures conditions with... Kept under control by the other bacteria in the mouth and then swallow oral health between the had... And those with weakened immune system, can prevent recurrence thrush uses this excess sugar fuel. Are too many fungi, it can cause an infection fungus, that 's in... Other factors ; however oral thrush may spread to the distinctive white mouth lesions, may. Lesions, usually on your tongue yeast bacteria in your mouth and system. Are at higher risk because their immune systems are not as strong or on your tongue what causes oral thrush in adults thrush may triggered.