Subscribe to HIV/AIDS email updates.
Oral candidiasis (kan-dih-DEYE-uh-suhss), or thrush, is a type of fungal infection inside the mouth. Thrush causes swelling and a thick white coating on your mouth, tongue, throat, and esophagus. (The infection is only called oral candidiasis if it appears in your mouth.) Thrush happens when candida, a fungus that is normally found in the body, grows too much in these areas. It also can overgrow in your vagina. This is called a vaginal yeast infection. Thrush is common in people living with HIV and can be hard to get rid of. Thrush is partly diagnosed by how your mouth looks. A doctor might also take a scraping of the white patches in your mouth that will appear with an infection. Thrush is usually first treated with prescription lozenges and mouth rinses. If this doesn't work or the thrush keeps coming back, antifungal drugs are used. If thrush is not treated, symptoms will last. In very rare cases, untreated thrush may enter the bloodstream and spread throughout the body.
Content last updated: July 01, 2011.