Leukoplakia vs Oral Candidiasis: What's the difference? Leukoplakia vs Oral Candidiasis: What's the difference?

If you have developed white lesions in your mouth, you might be worried they are a sign of something more serious. The most likely cause is a common infection called oral candidiasis, but if you are a heavy smoker or drinker it could be a more serious condition called leukoplakia.

What is Leukoplakia?

Leukoplakia causes thick, white patches to form on your tongue, gums, the bottom of your mouth and the inside of your cheeks. Most of these white patches are non-cancerous but there is a risk that they can turn cancerous or cause cancerous lesions to develop around them.

What is Oral Candidiasis?

Also known as oral thrush, oral candidiasis is a fungal infection in the mouth that causes creamy white lesions to develop on the tongue or on the inside of the cheeks. It’s also possible to develop lesions on your gums, tonsils, the roof of your mouth, and the back of the throat.

Oral thrush is the result of an overgrowth of a fungus called Candida that is usually present in the mouth and causes no issues. It’s only when there is too much Candida that infections like thrush can occur.

Leukoplakia vs. Oral Candidiasis

Leukoplakia tends to present with no symptoms other than the appearance of white or grey lesions while thrush can cause throat and mouth pain. Unlike leukoplakia, you may be able to remove oral thrush lesions by scraping and brushing.

Leukoplakia Symptoms:

  • White or greyish patches in your mouth that can’t be removed
  • Irregular or flat textured patches
  • Thickened or hardened patches
  • Red, raised lesions mixed in that can be a sign of cancer

Oral Thrush Symptoms:

  • Lesions that can be removed with scraping or brushing
  • Creamy white lesions in the mouth or throat
  • Slightly raised, white lumpy lesions
  • Cotton-mouth
  • Loss of taste
  • Pain and soreness that makes it difficult swallow
  • Bleeding
  • Cracking or soreness at the corners of your mouth

Risk and Precaution

We don’t know what exactly causes leukoplakia, but there are strong links between it and tobacco. Whether you smoke, dip, chew, or vape, the use of tobacco products is a major risk factor in developing leukoplakia.

Other Risk Factors for Leukoplakia:

  • Broken or poorly fitting dentures
  • Long-term alcohol use
  • Broken or sharp teeth rubbing on tongue surfaces

Oral thrush can affect anyone but it is most common in babies, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems. Normally, it’s a minor inconvenience but can become more severe if someone with a weakened immune system develops it.

Other Risk Factors for Oral Candidiasis:

  • Diabetes
  • Vaginal yeast infections
  • Some medications
  • Wearing dentures

To prevent these conditions, have regular checkups with your dentist so that they can catch any signs early. You should also stay hydrated and have healthy oral hygiene practices, especially if you use dentures. For leukoplakia, quit the use of any tobacco products and cut back on your alcohol intake.


Stopping the use of alcohol and tobacco should be enough to treat leukoplakia. If this doesn’t work or the lesions are too severe, you may need to undergo surgical procedures to remove the lesion and/or any cancerous cells. Since recurrence is highly likely, you’ll need to have regular checkups.

Oral thrush is normally treated with antifungal medications like Fluconazole, effective vaginal yeast infection and oral thrush relief medicine. It works by stopping the excessive production of Candida and provides relief in just a few days.

You can buy oral thrush and vaginal thrush relief treatment Fluconazole Capsules online from Pharmacy Planet.