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Oral thrush symptoms

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What is oral thrush?

Oral thrush, known as oral candidiasis, is a yeast infection that occurs in the mouth. The fungal infection is caused by a group of yeast called Candida albicans, which many people have living in their mouth, they are usually harmless and do not cause any problems. However when the body’s natural balance is disrupted the yeast can multiply and the infection can occur.

What are the symptoms of thrush in the mouth?

Oral thrush symptoms include:

  • White patches known as plaques in the mouth
  • If the plaques are wiped off red areas are left behind, these may bleed
  • Inside the mouth and throat is red and sore
  • Bad breath
  • An unpleasant taste in the mouth
  • Loss of taste
  • Cracks at the corners of your mouth
  • Pain or burning sensation in the mouth
  • Painful tongue or sore gums

Many people with oral thrush have difficulty eating and drinking due to the pain, however staying hydrated will help your body to recover quicker.

Symptoms of oral thrush in babies:

  • Thick white coating in the mouth, that can be wiped off
  • White spots in the mouth
  • They don’t want to feed
  • Nappy rash

Oral thrush can also be passed on to the mother through breastfeeding, which can cause nipple thrush. Your nipples can become cracked, dry, painful and sensitive, they may also change colour. You can help to prevent your baby developing oral thrush by regularly sterilising dummies and bottles.

How do you treat oral thrush?

If you or your baby has symptoms of oral thrush speak to your GP or neighbourhood pharmacist, they will be able to offer treatment and advice. If oral thrush is left untreated the symptoms can worsen and the infection can spread to other areas of the body. Find out more about treating oral thrush in our treatment guide

How can you prevent oral thrush?

By practising good oral health care you can help to prevent oral thrush from developing, remember to change your toothbrush regularly. If you wear dentures you’ll need to make sure that they fit properly and are cleaned as instructed.

How do you treat oral thrush?

How you treat oral thrush depends upon the severity of the yeast infection and what is causing it. Find out more about treating thrush in the mouth in our treatment guide.

Who can get oral thrush?

Anyone can develop oral thrush, however certain people are more susceptible to the infection, and these include those with weakened immune systems such as babies or the elderly.

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