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Yeast Culture Procedures
Jul 25, 2000

Dr. Reznik,

I have been suffering from a thick coating on the back of tongue, a burning tongue which will not go away and a sensation that feels like something is in my throat, for the past 6 months. I've been to 2 physicians and three dentists and finally found one who was willing to do a culture. My question for you is what is the usual procedure for checking for candidiasis? The last dentist ran a Q-Tip over the white areas and sent it away to the lab. After two days of trying to grow something in the lab the results came back with no yeast. My question for you is shouldn't the dentist have used an instrument to scape some of the white stuff I'm able to remove with my finger, to be sent to the lab? Or is her procedure sufficient enough to get a good sample for the lab. Thanks I'll be using your info to take back to her.

Response from Dr. Reznik

There are a few ways to culture for "yeast" or Candida species, but the one you have mentioned here is an acceptable procedure. It is very important to point out that approximately 60 percent of the general population will culture positive for Candida species. This does not mean that approximately 60 percent of the general population will develop candidiasis, just that this is an organism commonly found within the oral cavity. To check for the presence of a candidal infection I would suggest a simple KOH prep.

Take care,

DR


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