Postgrad Med J 78:455-459 doi:10.1136/pmj.78.922.455
  • Review

Oral candidiasis

  1. A Akpan,
  2. R Morgan
  1. Arrowe Park Hospital NHS Trust, Upton, Wirral, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr A Akpan, Arrowe Park Hospital NHS Trust, Upton, Wirral CH49 5PE, UK;
  • Received 14 November 2001
  • Accepted 11 March 2002


Oral candidiasis is a common opportunistic infection of the oral cavity caused by an overgrowth of Candida species, the commonest being Candida albicans. The incidence varies depending on age and certain predisposing factors. There are three broad groupings consisting of acute candidiasis, chronic candidiasis, and angular cheilitis. Risk factors include impaired salivary gland function, drugs, dentures, high carbohydrate diet, and extremes of life, smoking, diabetes mellitus, Cushing's syndrome, malignancies, and immunosuppressive conditions. Management involves taking a history, an examination, and appropriate antifungal treatment with a few requiring samples to be taken for laboratory analysis. In certain high risk groups antifungal prophylaxis reduces the incidence and severity of infections. The prognosis is good in the great majority of cases.