A Guide to Clinical Differential Diagnosis of Oral Mucosal Lesions
Mycotic Diseases-Candidosis (Candidiasis)

Course Author(s): Michael W. Finkelstein, DDS, MS; Emily Lanzel, DDS, MS; John W. Hellstein, DDS, MS

Mycotic Diseases-Candidosis (Candidiasis)

Candidosis (candidiasis) is caused by overgrowth of candidal organisms due to systemic and/or local factors.

Candidosis can occur in a variety of clinical forms:

  • Pseudomembranous (thrush): White plaques which rub off leaving an erythematous base. Pain, burning, and taste alterations are common.
Image: Candidosis (Candidiasis)
Candidosis (Candidiasis)
  • Acute atrophic (erythematous): Red mucosa accompanied by burning or pain.
  • Angular cheilitis: Cracks, crusts, pain in commissure area.
  • Chronic atrophic candidosis: Erythematous mucosa confined to denture bearing mucosa. Variably painful.
Image: Chronic Atrophic Candidosis
Chronic Atrophic Candidosis
  • Chronic hyperplastic candidosis: White epithelial thickening similar to leukoplakia.
Image: Chronic Hyperplastic Candidosis
Chronic Hyperplastic Candidosis
  • Median rhomboid glossitis: Erythematous patch anterior to circumvallate papillae.
Image: Median Rhomboid Glossitis
Median Rhomboid Glossitis
  • Mucocutaneous candidosis: May involve skin, oral and vaginal mucosa and nails. May be familial.
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