Oral thrush, also known oral candidiasis, is a condition that occurs when a fungus called Candida albicans builds up on the lining of your mouth.
Anyone can develop oral thrush, but babies, young children, older adults, or anyone with a compromised immune system due to an illness such as HIV are more susceptible. Conversely, candidiasis lesions can be an early sign of an HIV infection.
The main symptom of oral thrush is creamy white lesions in the mouth, usually on the tongue or inner cheeks. In some cases, the lesions may appear on the roof of the mouth or on the back of the throat.
Interestingly, oral thrush is not caused by poor oral hygiene. Thrush is caused when the naturally occurring fungi in the body get out of balance, which is why the very old, very young, and people with weak immune systems are at higher risk. Good oral hygiene, however, is an essential part of treating oral thrush. Healthy adults and children can recover fairly easily from the infection, especially if they follow a complete oral care routine of twice-daily tooth brushing and daily proper flossing.
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Cori K. Crider, DDS
2444 Packard Road
Ypsilanti, MI 48197