Thrush Infection Symptoms Oral

Candida albicans is the bacterium that causes yeast infections and thrush. In addition to causing genital yeast infections, Candida can also cause infections in the mouth, especially in the mouths of babies and those people who suffer from weakened immune systems. When an infection occurs is in the mouth, it can be one of two yeast infections: oral thrush or angular cheilitis.

Angular Cheilitis

Angular cheilitis is a condition characterized by chapped lips and, sometimes, mouth sores. These sores can become infected by bacteria, including Candida albicans.

Although the cause of angular cheilitis is unknown, studies have linked the initial onset of angular cheilitis with nutritional deficiencies, namely vitamin B and iron deficiency. Thus, people who are malnourished or who eat poorly are more prone to the condition than people who eat a balanced diet.

Angular cheilitis occurs frequently in the elderly who have lost teeth and in those who suffer from over-closure of the mouth.

One type of angular cheilitis occurs when a person experiences a cold sore at the corner of his mouth. Less severe cases of angular cheilitis occur when the weather is cold and windy, causing unprotected lips to become chapped. Chapped lips are common in young children and teenagers. Sufferers may lick their lips in an attempt to provide a temporary moment of relief, but that only worsens the condition.

Oral Thrush

Thrush refers to a Candida infection of the mouth and oral area. The term “thrush” is sometimes also used incorrectly to describe a Candida infection of the genital area, such as a vaginal yeast infection or a yeast infection of the penis.

Oral thrush is common in infants, especially those who are taking antibiotics. Oral thrush also affects people who have weakened immune systems, including people who have HIV.

Signs and Symptoms of Oral Thrush

Some people may not recognize or exhibit all symptoms of oral thrush, but the most common signs and symptoms include:

  • discomfort related to chewing and eating
  • fussiness or irritability (in infants)
  • inner lip rash
  • lip rash at corners of mouth
  • low-grade fever
  • mild oral discomfort
  • raw or bleeding skin areas
  • white patches in the throat, on the palate, inside the cheeks, on the tonsils or on the tongue
  • white skin flakes
  • white skin plaques.

Babies and toddlers may not be bothered by symptoms, but it is still important to treat the condition.

Many other conditions exhibit symptoms that are easily confused with oral thrush, so getting an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional is recommended.

Getting treatment for oral thrush is important, as more symptoms can appear and more problems can arise the longer thrush goes unchecked. Complications of oral thrush include:

  • difficulty feeding
  • esophagus candidiasis
  • gastrointestinal thrush
  • genital thrush
  • inadequate nutrition
  • recurrences of oral thrush
  • spread of thrush from infant’s mouth to nursing mother’s nipples/breasts
  • spread of thrush to other areas
  • throat thrush symptoms.

Resources

Colgate World of Care (2004). Burning mouth syndrome. Retrieved July 12, 2007, from the Colgate Web site: http://www.colgate.com/app/Colgate/US/OC/Information/OralHealthBasics/MedCondOralHealth/DryMouth/BurningMouthSyndrome.cvsp.

Pillinger, Dr. John (2007). Oral thrush (fungal infection in the mouth). Retrieved July 12, 2007, from the Netdoctor Web site: http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/diseases/facts/oralthrush.htm.

Wrong Diagnosis (2007). Oral thrush Retrieved July 12, 2007, from the Wrong Diagnosis Web site:http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/o/oral_thrush/intro.htm.

Wrong Diagnosis (2007) Symptom angular cheilitis. Retrieved July 12, 2007, from the Wrong Diagnosis Web site: http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/sym/angular_cheilitis.htm.