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Oral Dis. 2013 Apr;19(3):245-61. doi: 10.1111/odi.12013. Epub 2012 Sep 24.

Urban legends series: oral candidosis.

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Oral Medicine, Pathology and Laser-assisted Surgery Unit, University of Parma, Parma, Italy.


Candida species (spp) are commensal yeast that can only instigate oral infection (oral candidosis - OC) when there is an underlying predisposing condition in the host. We investigated four controversial topics on OC: (i) How can a microbiological determination of OC be made as Candida spp. are commensal yeasts and not all of them form hyphae or pseudohyphae during infection? (ii) Is median rhomboid glossitis (MRG) a manifestation of candidal infection? (iii) Can candidal infection cause palate papillary hyperplasia (PPH)? (iv) What is the best therapeutic treatment for denture-associated erythematous stomatitis (DAES)? Results from extensive literature searches, including a systematic review, suggested the following: (i) the diagnosis of OC merely on the basis of the presence of yeasts is an oversimplification of a complex process. No convincing evidence of a single test or method better able to discriminate the transition from candidal saprophytism to pathogenicity has been reported in the literature; (ii-iii) conclusive evidence of a direct aetiopathogenic relationship between MRG and PPH and candidal infection has not been found; and (iv) only limited evidence is available for any DAES treatment, thus making it impossible to make strong therapeutic recommendations.


Candida; denture stomatitis; median rhomboid glossitis; treatment

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