Signs and symptoms

The oropharynx is usually affected, with taste disturbances and sometimes, a burning sensation on the tongue. White, non-adherent plaques on the buccal mucosa, tonsillar ring and tongue confirm the diagnosis. Involvement of the tongue alone is rare. Occasionally, there may be atrophic candidiasis, which presents only with an erythematous mucosa.

Candida esophagitis usually occurs with oropharyngeal involvement, but in about one third of cases there is no oral thrush. It often presents with dysphagia ("drinking is ok, but food can't go down") and retrosternal pain. Some patients complain of nausea, although vomiting occurs only rarely.

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