The prevalence of oral candidosis and the frequency of isolation of Candida albicans and its density and distribution have been determined in the mouths of 50 patients with diabetes mellitus and 50 healthy volunteers matched for age, sex, dental status and smoking habits. Three of the diabetic patients were found to have a chronic oral candidosis. According to an imprint culture technique, the oral carrier rate and density of C albicans were both higher in the diabetic group as a whole than in the control subjects. Smoking was associated with an increased prevalence of the yeast in diabetes mellitus. Diabetics wearing dentures had higher candidal density than those without a prosthesis. No differences in candidal status could be detected according to the degree of control of diabetes, mode of treatment, duration of diabetes or the patient's age. Local factors such as smoking and the presence of dentures, particularly when worn continuously, interact with diabetes mellitus in promoting candidal colonisation of the mouth. Attention to these predisposing factors could reduce the incidence of thrush in diabetics.
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