What Is an Oral Yeast Infection?


Quick Answer

An oral yeast infection is the condition in which there is an excessive amount of fungus in the mouth, explains Healthline. Also known as oral thrush, it is caused by an infection preventing the immune system from maintaining the normal amount of fungus that lives in the mouth.

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Oral yeast infection symptoms include white lesions on the tongue, gum, tonsils, inner cheeks and palate; dry skin at corners of the mouth; a white, creamy material on the lesion surface; and difficulty swallowing if lesions spread to the esophagus, states Healthline. Infants and toddlers are more likely to develop an oral yeast infection, and a newborn can acquire one if the mother has a vaginal yeast infection. Anyone who smokes, has overall poor health, takes antibiotics, has a disease that affects the immune system or takes cancer-treating drugs is also susceptible to an oral yeast infection.

Medication treatments for oral yeast infection include clotrimazole lozenge, nystatin, fluconazole, itraconazole and amphotericin, according to Healthline. The clotrimazole lozenge is placed in the mouth so that it dissolves, and nystatin is a mouthwash that is swished in the mouth and swallowed. Fluconazole, itraconazole and amphotericin B are oral or intravenous drugs reserved for resistant oral yeast infections. At-home care for an oral yeast infection includes rinsing the mouth with 3 percent hydrogen peroxide or saltwater, eating unsweetened yogurt with Lactobacillus acidophilus and abstaining from mouthwashes and sprays.

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