Figure 2-18. Dilantin hyperplasia.
2-26. CANDIDIASIS (MONILIASIS; THRUSH)
The causative agent of candidiasis is a yeast-like fungus called Candida
albicans. This condition is characterized by lesions that appear on the oral mucosa as
white or gray-white patches resembling curdled milk. Limited numbers of this fungus
normally occur in the mouths of healthy persons but can cause disease in newborn
infants, patients receiving antibiotics, and patients who are debilitated because of
alcoholism, leukemia, diabetes, or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
Leukemias are a group of often-fatal diseases that may show early oral
symptoms. They are characterized by marked increases in the number of leukocytes,
many of which do not mature. Leukemias may vary from acute to chronic, with the
acute form being more common in young persons and the chronic form in older
persons. Acute leukemia in a young person responds very well to chemotherapy and
five-year cure rates are the rule. Oral symptoms of leukemias include hemorrhaging;
ulceration; and enlargement, spongy texture, and magenta coloration of the gingiva.
Enlargement of lymph nodes, symptoms of anemia, and hemorrhagic tendencies are
also typical. The diseases occur in myelogenous, lymphatic, and monocytic forms.
These forms are for the type of white blood cell that is most predominant in the disease.