Can oral candidiasis be symptomatic without actual pseudomembranes or “thrush”?

Yes.  A common form of oral candidiasis I see in hospitalized patients is of the “Erythematous (atrophic)” variety (1) which presents with dry mouth, sensitivity to food (especially carbonated drinks) and red patches on the palate and the tongue.  Patients often complain of their taste buds being “off” .  I have a low threshold for treating these patients empirically, often with oral nystatin or miconazole, as they improve rapidly with therapy.

1. Stoopler ET, Sollecito TP. Oral mucosal diseases. Med Clin N Am 2014;98:1323-1352. 

Can oral candidiasis be symptomatic without actual pseudomembranes or “thrush”?