Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Oral Yeast Infection Anatomy

To better understand thrush, it helps to understand the anatomy of the mouth and throat.

The back of the throat is also referred to as the pharynx. More specifically, the pharynx is the back, upper part of the throat behind the tongue. It starts at the base of the tongue and ends at the larynx.

Anatomy examples:

  • Normal pharynx in an adult
  • Normal pharynx in a child
  • Normal tongue

The tonsils are collections of lymphoid tissue in the back of the throat. They are located on both sides of the throat, near the base of the tongue. The tonsils generally shrink over time. At puberty, the tonsils are normally about the size of an almond.

Anatomy examples:
  • Normal anatomy of the pharynx
  • Normal tonsils in a child

Last Updated: Jan 6, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Oral Yeast Infection References
  1. Akpan A, Morgan R. Oral candidiasis. Postgrad Med J. 2002 Aug;78(922):455-9. [12185216]
  2. Clarkson JE, Worthington HV, Eden OB. Interventions for treating oral candidiasis for patients with cancer receiving treatment. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004;(1):CD001972. [14973977]
  3. Pankhurst C. Candidiasis (oropharyngeal). Clin Evid. 2005 Jun;(13):1701-16. [16135307]
  4. Rossie K, Guggenheimer J. Oral candidiasis: clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and treatment. Pract Periodontics Aesthet Dent. 1997 Aug;9(6):635-41. [9573835]
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