General Medical Questions


A white tongue is called "milk tongue" and is often not thrush. Thrush is an infection in the mouth caused by a yeast-like organism called Candida albicans. This condition is most common in newborns.

If your baby develops white spots on the tongue and white spots that look like milk curd on the insides of the cheeks and lips, this may be thrush. These spots often bleed if you try to wipe them off. Thrush may be painful and cause feeding problems.

The same yeast infection can also cause a diaper rash. Some babies have the infection both in their mouth and on their bottom. Thrush also can spread to your breasts if your baby is breastfed.

Mild cases often clear up on their own however many babies need treatment with a prescription antifungal oral medication. These medications are applied orally with a dropper. A baby with a yeast infection in the diaper area can be treated with an antifungal cream following diaper changes. If your baby develops thrush and you are breastfeeding, you may want to use the same antifungal solution on your nipples to help prevent passing the infection back and forth between your breast and your baby's mouth. You can continue breastfeeding during treatment.

Disinfect daily any item that comes in contact with your baby's mouth. This includes nipples, pacifiers, teethers, breast shells, breast pads, bras, pump parts, artificial nipples. To sterilize bottle nipples or pacifiers - boil them
for 20 minutes each day to kill the yeast that may be residing on them.

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The information contained in this publication should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician.
There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.