Oral candidiasis (thrush)

Oral candidiasis (thrush)

Chris Schach

Author Bio -

 

Key Points
*Skin condition which typically affects the mouth and tongue, though it may affect the lips or throat
*Caused by an infection of the yeast Candida
*Typically consists of white patches on the interior of the mouth, though it presents differently in many cases

Oral candidiasis (Thrush) is a skin condition which usually affects the mouth, but may appear in other areas depending on the subtype of the condition. It typically consists of white patches on the interior of the mouth, though again, it may present differently depending on the subtype. Candidiasis infection may be acute or chronic in nature. Subtypes and their symptoms include acute pseudomembranous candidiasis (white patches on gums, tongue and mouth, which may peel), acute atrophic candidiasis (shiny, red patches on the tongue which are smooth and accompanied by pain), chronic atrophic candidiasis (typically affects those with dentures, underlying gums are swollen accompanied by pain), angular cheilitis (sides of the mouth are split, red and painful), chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis (similar in appearance to acute pseudomembranous candidiasis), and median rhomboid glossitis (inflamed area in the shape of a diamond on the tongue). Additionally, the condition may develop as a secondary infection in other skin disorders, including lichen planus or migratory glossitis. In severe cases, the condition may spread down the esophagus.

Oral candidiasis (Thrush) is caused by an infection of the yeast Candida, and typically occurs when the number of yeast cells in the affected area increase. Many factors may contribute to its development, including age (more common in infants and the elderly), underlying medical conditions, chronic mouth dryness (often attributed to disease or medication), dentures, smoking, mouth trauma, vitamin or mineral deficiency, and use of corticosteroid inhalants.

Differential Diagnosis (Other conditions with similar appearance)
Aphthous ulcers
Herpes simplex Virus Infection
Blastomycosis
Histiocytosis
Candidiasis
Human immunodeficiency virus Infection
Cytomegalovirus Infection
Lymphohistiocytosis
Diphtheria
Pharyngitis
Echovirus
Syphilis
Enteroviral Infections
Esophagitis

Diagnosis
Key Points
*Diagnosis based on characteristic appearance of the affected area
*Cultures will be taken to confirm diagnosis and rule out other conditions

Oral candidiasis (Thrush) is typically diagnosed based on the characteristic appearance of the affected area. Cultures of the affected area will be taken to confirm the diagnosis and to rule out other, similar appearing conditions.

Treatment
*Treatment of singular infections often consists of antifungal medications
*If an underlying disorder is present, treatment of that disorder may help to resolve the condition

Oral candidiasis is typically treated with the administration of antifungal medications in various forms, usually prescription mouthwashes. Gentian violet preparations are also effective at combating the disorder. In cases where an underlying disorder is present, treatment of that disorder may help to resolve the condition.

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