Thrush is an infection that causes raised white patches in the mouth and throat that can look like cottage cheese. It is caused by the Candida albicans fungus that also causes diaper rash and vaginal yeast infections.
for searching the Internet and other reference sources
What Is Thrush?
Candida albicans is a single-celled fungus that is a natural inhabitant of the mouth. Usually, the body maintains a natural balance of microbes * in the mouth. But if that natural balance has been disturbed, Candida and other fungi may begin to grow in the warm moist environment of the mouth and throat. Other names for thrush are oral candidiasis (kan-di-DY-a-sis) and oral moniliasis (mon-i-LY-a-sis).
Thrush and the immune system
Thrush is common in newborns. In older children, and adults, it may be a sign of an immune system disorder. People whose immune systems have been damaged by the AIDS virus, for example, may develop thrush. People who are treated with antibiotics for bacterial infections and people who use steroid inhalers for asthma may also develop thrush.
Infants may get thrush during childbirth, if their mothers have vaginal yeast infections, or they may get thrush from bottles or nipples or family members with contaminated hands. Thrush looks like white patches of cottage cheese on the tongue, palate (roof of the mouth), inner cheeks, or throat. If the white patches of thrush are scraped, however, the sores will bleed, and infants may refuse to suck because of pain in the mouth. Candida also causes diaper rash, but those sores are reddish rather than white.
* microbes are small organisms that usually can be seen only under a microscope. They include bacteria, protozoa, and fungi.
How Is Thrush Diagnosed and Treated?
Thrush usually goes away by itself. Because thrush may be a sign of an immune system disorder, however, it is important to check with a doctor
Thrush usually is treated by prescription medication, taken orally or applied directly to the sores, and by careful hygiene, which includes frequent hand washing, frequent diaper changes, and use of mouth washes.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posts
ABCs of Safe and Healthy Child Care
at its website, which includes a fact sheet about thrush.