Dr. Mersch received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, San Diego, and prior to entering the University Of Southern California School Of Medicine, was a graduate student (attaining PhD candidate status) in Experimental Pathology at USC. He attended internship and residency at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.
Thrush (oropharyngeal candidiasis) is a superficial yeast
infection that may involve the tongue, inner cheek (buccal mucosa), inner lip
region, and occasionally the gums (gingiva). While it is most commonly seen in
young infants, thrush may affect toddlers, and to a lesser degree, older
children and occasionally adults. Oral thrush diagnosed in an adult should
always lead to a search for an underlying medical condition (diabetes, use of
immunosuppressive therapy, etc.).
Oral Thrush Causes
Thrush is caused by an overgrowth of the yeast Candida albicans, which is
commonly found on skin surfaces, the oral cavity, and throughout the intestinal
tract of healthy individuals. Newborn infants often are exposed during
vaginal delivery and may develop oral evidence of thrush within 10 days post-delivery.
Breastfeeding infants may infect their mother's nipple area during
breastfeeding. In addition, an overgrowth of Candida in the stool may be
associated with a characteristic diaper rash. Contamination of formula bottle
nipples and pacifiers with Candida may also introduce the yeast into a child's
In older children and adults, oropharyngeal candidiasis is associated with
several risk behaviors, including prolonged or repeated use of oral antibiotics,
smoking, dentures, use of birth control pills, and diabetes (either type I or
type II). Perhaps the most common association for developing thrush is improper
technique during the use of inhalers containing corticosteroids for the control
of asthma or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Such medications require rinsing your mouth with water and then spitting out the water to eliminate any non-inhaled medication. Patients using a metered dose inhaler (MDI) for administration of their steroids are recommended to use a "spacer" to lessen the amount of potential residual steroid left in the mouth.
Prescribed antifungal medicines, which slow down the growth of yeast, are the standard treatment for thrush. Thrush is most commonly treated with medicines that are either applied directly to the affected area (topical) or swallowed (oral).