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Symptoms and Causes of
Infant Thrush

Agar plate culture of Candida albicans.

Thrush is commonly seen in infants. It is not considered abnormal in infants unless it lasts longer than a couple of weeks.


White patches in the mouth which may look milk curds. Although milk curds are easily rubbed off, thrush sticks to the oral tissues. When removed it leaves a red, raw appearing area. Discomfort may hinder food intake in severe cases.


Infant thrush is an infection of the mucosa of the mouth by Candida albicans. Occurring in 4 percent of infants, it generally begins within 8-9 days after birth. Sources of infections are infected mothers who either have candida or vaginitis; perhaps the infant was exposed in the newborn nursery. Infants or diabetic mothers are especially susceptible. Also susceptible are infants born with cleft palate of cleft lip.

For thrush in infants, treatment is often NOT necessary. It generally gets better on its own within 2 weeks.

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