Who gets oral yeast infections? How to treat them?

Who gets oral yeast infections?  How to treat them?

Panettone - "Gold" yeast
This is baker’s yeast, not oral yeast

Most healthy people’s mouths are colonized with yeast, Candida albicans.  When the yeast count is at a routine level, this should have no symptoms.

Who is at risk for symptomatic oral yeast infection?

  • People on oral or inhaled steroids *for asthma or sinus issues)
  • Diabetics
  • Malnourished individuals
  • Recent antibiotic use
  • Denture use
  • Immunosuppressed individuals

What does oral candida look like?  White plaques (on inside of cheeks, palate or tongue)that can’t be wiped off and are often on the sides of the tongue or white plaques that when wiped off show redness at their base. Patients may have no symptoms, complain of “cotton-mouth” or oral burning, or have a metallic taste in their mouth.

Dentures may be colonized with yeast.  Removing the appliance overnight and soaking in 0.1% sodium hypochlorite or 4% chlorhexidine will help decrease colonization.  Brushing dentures with toothpaste can cause scratching on the denture surface. 

Treatment usually consists of oral antifungal lozenge or tablets for 1-2 weeks. If the white plaque does not resolve with treatment with an antifungal, a biopsy is needed to rule out cancer.


About drlesliegreenberg

I have been practicing as a family physician for over 20 years--as both an educator of physicians and clinician. From infancy to the elderly, I perform obstetrics and general medicine. I love my career and am passionate about my field of knowledge and my patients. Follow me on Facebook at Leslie Md Greenberg Medical Disclaimer The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider.
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