Thrush: Symptoms & Signs, Diagnosis & Tests

Symptoms & Signs

Thrush appears as whitish, velvety lesions in the mouth and on the tongue. Underneath the whitish material, there is red tissue that may bleed easily. The lesions can slowly increase in number and size.

Diagnosis & Tests

Your doctor or dentist can almost always diagnose thrush by looking at your mouth and tongue. These fungal lesions have a distinct appearance. If not entirely clear, one of the following tests may be performed to look for the Candida organisms:

  • Microscopic examination of mouth scrapings
  • Culture of mouth lesions

Pictures & Images

Mouth anatomy


Review Date : 8/28/2009
Reviewed By : David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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