Question for Betty.

Dear Betty,

Can a female get a yeast infection in her mouth from performing oral sex.  Can a male?  If so, how do you treat it?

Betty's Answer.

An oral yeast infection, or thrush, is an opportunistic infection. In a healthy person, this would occur infrequently as there are many organisms that thrive in the oral cavity and compete with organisms that cause yeast infections. Yeast infections can occur with use of antibiotics, or an impairment to the immune system. Most yeast infections are caused by the fungus Candida albicans, and usually occur in the mucus membranes (mouth, nose, and vagina) but are also known to form in the digestive system, respiratory tract, skin, and other body systems. It is possible to introduce Candida albicans to the oral tract by performing oral sex, but this does not mean you will get an infection.
Risk factors include: poor oral hygiene; use of antibiotics; malnutrition; use tobacco products (smoking,chew); and use of inhaled steroids.
Signs and symptoms of an oral yeast infection include: soreness, irritation or burning; white patches on inner surfaces of mouth of tongue; redness; and painful swallowing.
Yeast infections are treated by anti-fungal agents that can be prescribed by your health care provider.