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Signs and Symptoms of Oral Thrush

Posted on 4/26/2021 by Dr. Joshi
Signs and Symptoms of Oral ThrushOral thrush is one of the most common types of fungal infections in human. According to the Pharmaceutical Journal, oral thrush can affect 30% to 40% of healthy adults. It is also quite common in infants and people who wear dentures. Nearly 45% of infants are affected by oral thrush, and amongst denture wearers, its prevalence is as high as 50% to 65%.

In most cases, oral thrush is a harmless oral condition, but the complications can increase with patients who have a weakened immune system like cancer and AIDS/ HIV positive patients. People who have diabetes are also at the risk of oral thrush because the excess glucose present in their saliva can lead to an overgrowth of yeast infection, causing candida Albicans.

The most common signs and symptoms of oral thrush are stated below:

White Patches

The first sign of oral thrush is the appearance of white, creamy, or cheesy patches on our tongue, gums, inner cheeks, and the back of our throat. As the infection gets worse, these patches take the form of a film, and our whole tongue becomes covered in this think layer of white, cheesy yeast. You can clean this layer by wiping it off or rinsing your mouth properly, but it will continue to form as long as the candida yeast infection lasts. Upon touching it, the white patches or film feels like cottage cheese.

Loss of Taste

As the infection spreads in the mouth and throat, patients lose their sense of taste. They are unable to feel the taste of their food and drinks because the film of fungi accumulates on their tongue. Our taste buds are located on our tongue. With our taste buds covered with a layer of fungi, we are unable to feel the taste of our food and drinks.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is a common symptom of oral thrush. The layer of white yeast that forms on the tongue and inside the mouth causes the mouth to become dry and cotton-like. The yeast infection affects the mucus-producing glands in our mouth because of which less saliva is produced. The saliva keeps our mouth moist throughout the day. But as less saliva is produced when people are affected by the oral thrush, the mouth feels dry and lumpy.

Slight Bleeding

White patches that are a prominent sign of oral thrush can also be followed by lumps and slight bleeding on the tongue, inner cheeks, and at the back of the throat. Bleeding normally occurs when the mouth becomes too dry as a result of the yeast infection, and the tongue becomes red and sore.

Unpleasant Taste

The growth of yeast on a person's tongue and inner mouth can lead to an unpleasant taste in the mouth. Patients have reported feeling a cotton-like or cheesy sensation in their mouth. Every time that a patient ingests meals or drinks, they can feel a bitter and unpleasant taste mostly because the fungus has accumulated on the taste buds on our tongue.


In severe cases, patients can experience soreness and burning sensation in the mouth and at the back of the throat. This is especially common if the yeast infection has spread from the mouth to the throat and is about to take the form of candidiasis esophagitis. If left untreated, the yeast infection can affect a person's esophagus and cause complications with the intake and digestion of food.

If you notice any one of the above-mentioned signs and symptoms of oral thrush, then please give us a call at (630) 394-9787 and schedule your appointment for a dental examination.
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