thrush on tongue

Last edited 07/2018 and last reviewed 06/2021

Oral candidiasis is a common fungal infection of the oral mucosa (1).

  • it is commonly caused by the yeast Candida albicans, one of the components of normal oral microflora
  • other species such as C glabrata, C tropicalis, and C krusei may also be responsible (2)
  • Candida species are commensals in the gastrointestinal tract and about 30% to 50% of healthy people carry Candida species as normal flora in their mouth (2)
    • rate of carriage increases with age - Candida albicans are recovered from 60% of dentate patient's mouth over the age of 60 years (3).

Candida tends to be an opportunistic infection with predisposing factors attributed to the organism (4)

  • it is the most frequently seen oral manifestation of HIV infections with up to 90% of patients developing the infection at some stage (4).

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