Oral candidiasis in newborns

Oral candidiasis in newborns


- My 2-week-old boy has something whitish on his tongue. It is normal? If it is not normal what it represents and how can it be treated?


Oral candidiasis is an infection of the buccal mucosa produced by a fungus called Candida albicans. It occurs quite frequently in the neonatal period, contamination occurring during labor.
In infants and older children, it is favored by nutritional deficiencies, immunodeficiencies and the destruction of local bacterial flora by prolonged oral antibiotic treatments.
The buccal mucosa is covered with a whitish, slightly adherent deposit, compared to the "coagulated milk", and there may be a local discomfort that can cause difficulties in eating. Most often, local clinical examination is sufficient for diagnosis.
Although not used in practice, the clinical diagnosis can be confirmed by direct microscopic examination and culture (on special culture media) from the scraped deposit on the mucosa.

Usually oral candidiasis is self-limiting, but special attention is required to oral hygiene and the treatment of possible underlying debilitating diseases, which can promote and maintain fungal infections.
The local treatment consists in the application of solutions with antifungal effect (Stamicin, Amphotericin B, gentian violet, etc.).
Consult your family doctor (or pediatrician) to confirm if you are talking about oral candidiasis and to receive appropriate therapeutic recommendations.