Candida is a fungus. Small amounts live in moist places in the body. Mouth and throat are common areas. Candida esophagitis is an overgrowth of this fungus. It happens in the tube that joins the mouth to the stomach. The overgrowth is an infection.
The body can normally keep the fungus under control. Medical issues or treatment can weaken the body’s ability to protect itself. This leads to an infection from the overgrowth of fungus.
This infection may be more common in older adults. Other things that may raise your risk are:
Some people may not have symptoms. People who do may have:
- Problems and pain when swallowing
- Pain behind the breastbone
- White patches in the mouth and throat
- Burning of the tongue
You will be asked about your symptoms and health history. An exam will be done. The doctor will make a diagnosis based on the exam.
An endoscopy may also be done. A tube is passed down the throat. The doctor will be able to look at the throat lining. Fluids or tissue samples may also be taken for testing.
Some illnesses, like HIV, can make it harder for the body to fight infections. Treatment can make the body stronger. This can prevent infections.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov
National Foundation for Infectious Diseases http://www.nfid.org
The College of Family Physicians of Canada https://www.cfpc.ca
Public Health Agency of Canada https://www.canada.ca
Candida infection. The Oral Cancer Foundation website. Available at: https://oralcancerfoundation.org/complications/candida/. Accessed June 27, 2019.
Candida infections of the mouth, throat, and esophagus. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/candidiasis/thrush/index.html. Updated April 12, 2019. Accessed June 27, 2019.
Esophageal candidiasis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115950/Esophageal-candidiasis . Updated April 27, 2017. Accessed June 27, 2019.
- Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board David L. Horn, MD, FACP
- Review Date: 11/2019
- Update Date: 11/12/2019