Thrush—Child

(Oral Candidiasis)

Definition

Thrush is a fungal infection of the mouth. It usually begins on the tongue and inside of the cheeks. It may also spread to the palate, gums, tonsils, and throat. Severe, untreated thrush can spread to the:
  • Urinary tract
  • Whole body—systemic infection causes multiple organ failure and death
Thrush
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Causes

Thrush is caused by a fungus. There are many microorganisms that normally live in the mouth. When these organisms become imbalanced, the fungus can grow and cause thrush. The imbalance of organisms may be caused by a medical condition or medication.

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your baby's chance of getting thrush include:Factors that may increase your child's chance of getting thrush include:
  • Health conditions that suppress the immune system, such as:
    • HIV infection
    • Cancer or medical treatments for cancer, such as chemotherapy
    • Congenital immune deficiencies
  • Prolonged illness
  • Use of antibiotics
  • Conditions that cause a dry mouth
  • Use of medications that treat psychiatric conditions

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