Oral fungal infection is fairly common and is attributed to the genus Candida, with the predominant species being C.albicans, an opportunistic pathogen of the oral cavity.

Fungal infection is usually attributed to changes in the composition of the oral microbiome due to local and systemic factors that affect the host’s immunity. This promotes the growth, multiplication and entry of fungi into the mucosa that line the oral cavity, leading to opportunistic infection.

Local factors that promote the growth of fungi are dry mouth, mouth breathing, smoking and old infected dentures that are not removed during sleep, while at the level of systemic health, factors that can reduce the immune response include unbalanced diabetes, acquired and inherited immunodeficiencies, hematological disorders, etc. In addition, medications such as antibiotics and corticosteroids can lead to the development of candidiasis.

From the above mentioned it is clear that the patient’s history in combination with a detailed examination of the mouth can lead to the diagnosis of fungal infection. In fact, a cytological smear may be taken to confirm the diagnosis, the examination of which reveals the presence of fungi in increased numbers.

Clinically, redness is observed in the affected areas of the mouth, which usually concern the dorsal surface of the tongue, the palate and the corners of the mouth. In another clinical form of candidiasis, milky white plaques that can be detached are observed. In several cases the patient complains of a mild burning symptom sometimes accompanied by changes in taste such as experiencing bitter, metallic, or saltiness.

Therapeutically speaking, the administration of topical, systemic or in combination with antifungal drugs with a specific dosage and duration of application will lead to the reversal of the damage caused by fungal lesions in the oral cavity. At the same time, the local or systemic cause that is considered to be related to this situation is treated appropriately.

Frequently asked questions

Is a blood test required if I have oral candidiasis?

In addition to the diagnosis of oral fungal infections, it is recommended to identify possible causes that contribute to the development of this specific ailment, otherwise a relapse of the disease is possible in a short time. Based on this fact, specific tests are administered in some cases in order to exclude or document specific etiological pathogenic diseases.

I use inhaled corticosteroids due to respiratory problems. Do I have to stop using them?

Under no circumstances should the treatment prescribed for you for the respiratory problem you are experiencing be suspended. One possible solution is to rinse your mouth after the application of corticosteroids and after proper consultation with your Pulmonologist possible change of the administered preparation if it is deemed appropriate.

Is cytological smear an invasive procedure?

It is a non-traumatic diagnostic method in which cells are scraped using a suitable tool from the area of ​​the oral mucosa infected by fungus. The process is completed in seconds, is painless and very simple to execute.