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more about Thrush

Oral candidiasis

  • Thrush is an infection of the mouth caused by a yeast (fungus) known as Candida albicans.  Usually, it appears as white, painful, patches in the mouth, and is treated successfully with various medicines.

  • The infection causes thick, white patches to develop in the mouth.  These white patches can be easily scraped off.  Underneath, there is usually a red rash.
  • The infection is painful.  It may cause pain in the mouth, and may eventually cause pain while swallowing.
  • Oral irritation: Babies with thrush will often smack their lips and stick out the tongue, as if attempting to scrape off the lesions.

  • Although Candida albicans is present everywhere, it causes infections in the mouths of babies and young children because they often have small amounts of milk left in their mouths after feeding.
  • It is seen most often in people with diabetes, HIV, those taking steroids or antibiotics, and in people who wear dentures.  It is also common in people receiving radiation therapy or chemotherapy.

  • Examination of the rash by a doctor is usually enough to make the diagnosis.  Occasionally, a sample is taken and sent to the laboratory for analysis.
  • Rarely is a biopsy (in which a sample of the tissue is cut out and sent to the laboratory to be examined under the microscope) needed.
  • If the infection resists treatment, other tests may be ordered to ensure that a baby does not have problems with his or her immune system.

  • There are multiple treatment options, depending on the age group and medical condition.  Infants use Nystatin solution.
  • Nystatin troches (tablets made to dissolve in the mouth).
  • Mouth rinses with Nystatin solution (the medicine is swished around the mouth and then swallowed).
  • Clotrimazole troches
  • Ketoconazole
  • Fluconazole
  • People with dentures who develop this problem can use Nystatin powder 3-4 times a day.  They usually have to keep doing this for several weeks.
  • Wash infants' toys and nipples in hot, soapy water, and dry them in the sunlight, to prevent reinfection.
  • In breast-fed babies, treatment of the mother's breast is necessary to prevent reinfection

  • Avoid putting babies to bed with a bottle in the mouth, as the slow leaking of milk into the mouth promotes fungal growth.

  • Leukoplakia
  • Lichen planus

more about Thrush

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