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Oral candidiasis in Child
See also in: Oral Mucosal Lesion
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Oral candidiasis in Child

See also in: Oral Mucosal Lesion
Contributors: Kiasha Govender MBChB, MMed, FCDerm, Anisa Mosam MBChB, MMed, FCDerm, PhD, Ncoza C. Dlova MBChB, FCDerm, PhD, Susan Burgin MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Synopsis

Oral candidiasis, also called oropharyngeal candidiasis and commonly known as oral thrush, is an infection of the oral mucous membranes by Candida species, especially Candida albicans.

Although not common in children over the age of 12 months, it may occur in children who are on antibiotics, who have an underlying endocrine disorder (eg, type 1 diabetes mellitus), or who are immunosuppressed due to primary immunodeficiency disorders or secondary to malignancy, immunosuppressive medication, or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.

The child may be symptom free or may complain of a burning tongue and soreness or pain in the mouth or pain on swallowing.

Oral candidiasis occurs in children in three main clinical forms. The most common form in children is the pseudomembranous variety: white plaque formation typically appears on the tongue, lips, inner surface of the cheeks, and palate and can leave behind punctate bleeding and patches of reddened mucosa when scraped.

In children with HIV infection, oral thrush is the most common candidal infection. The presentation, however, differs, and these children may show signs of all of the types of mucous membrane infections.

Candida at the corners of the mouth is known as angular cheilitis or perlèche. Crusting, small ulcers, or fissures can be present at the angles of the mouth.

In median rhomboid glossitis, a smooth, red, diamond-shaped area is present on the dorsal surface of the tongue.

Related topic: Angular cheilitis

Codes

ICD10CM:
B37.0 – Candidal stomatitis

SNOMEDCT:
79740000 – Oral candidiasis

Look For

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Diagnostic Pearls

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

  • Aphthous stomatitis
  • Oral lichen planus – Usually reticulated and erythematous rather than plaque-like.
  • Migratory glossitis
  • Respiratory diphtheria – The membrane in diphtheria can be mistaken for candidiasis, although in diphtheria there may be hemorrhagic crusts around the mouth and nares.
  • White sponge nevus of the oral mucosa – There may be a family history of this very uncommon genodermatosis.
  • Chronic cheek chewing

Best Tests

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Management Pearls

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Therapy

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Drug Reaction Data

Below is a list of drugs with literature evidence indicating an adverse association with this diagnosis. The list is continually updated through ongoing research and new medication approvals. Click on Citations to sort by number of citations or click on Medication to sort the medications alphabetically.

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References

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Last Reviewed:09/04/2017
Last Updated:02/10/2023
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Patient Information for Oral candidiasis in Child
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Oral candidiasis in Child
See also in: Oral Mucosal Lesion
A medical illustration showing key findings of Oral candidiasis (Adult/Child Presentation) : Oral white plaque, Dysphagia, Oral burning sensation, Altered taste
Clinical image of Oral candidiasis - imageId=176995. Click to open in gallery.  caption: 'Small, flat, white papules on the dorsal tongue.'
Small, flat, white papules on the dorsal tongue.
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