Thrush in Babies
What is Thrush?
Thrush is a fungal infection in the mouth caused by the fungus Candida which is normally found on and in the body in small amounts. When these organisms overgrow, they can cause infections (candidiasis), which sometimes can become chronic. If the fungus enters the bloodstream, the infection can spread to other parts of the body. Bloodstream infections are most common in newborns, children with long-term intravenous catheters, and children with weakened immune systems caused by illnesses or medicines.
What are the symptoms?
Thrush is a painful white or yellow patch on the tongue, lips, gums, palate (roof of the mouth), and inner cheeks. It can also spread into the esophagus, causing pain when swallowing.
How Is the Diagnosis Made?
Diagnosis can be made by examining your child and his symptoms. Scrapings (taking a superficial sample) of the thrush lesions inside the mouth and then examining it under the microscope looking for the fungus. Cultures are taken as well to grow the fungus in the laboratory and identify the type and sensitivity of the yeast to choose the best antifungal treatment.
Treatment of thrush in pediatrics is topical antifungals like nystatin and others.