Oral candidiasis: relation to systemic diseases and medications


  • Xiaozhu Chu University of Pittsburgh, School of Dental Medicine




oral candidiasis, disease, medication, xerostomia


Background: Oral candidiasis is by far the most common oral fungal infection in humans. It is caused by the fungal organism Candida albicans. When the host is debilitated by other diseases and conditions, C. albicans, which is usually a part of the normal oral flora, can turn pathogenic and invade the host tissue to cause the infection. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of systemic diseases and medications in the development of oral candidiasis.

Methods: A total of 12 cases with code indicating oral candidiasis were collected from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine Dental Registry and DNA Repository. The systemic diseases and medications were descriptively analyzed.

Results: 50% of the subjects had more than two systemic diseases. The most prevalent diseases were mental illnesses (50%), cardiovascular diseases (41.7%), and respiratory system diseases (33.3%). 50% of subjects were on polypharmacy therapies and 75% of subjects were taking medications that may contribute to oral candidiasis. Among the medications, antidepressants and inhalational corticosteroids may have strong potentials to cause oral candidiasis.

Conclusion: Oral candidiasis is associated with having systemic diseases and intake of medication, especially with those medications can cause xerostomia. As the number of systemic diseases and medications increases, the risk of developing oral candidiasis may increase too.


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