HIV/AIDS and oral health

AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) is a severe disease in which the immune system gradually weakens and the person suffering from the condition becomes extremely vulnerable to opportunistic infections and tumors. The disease is caused by HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). The disease is transmittable by mucous membrane contact or infected blood.

As AIDS weakens the immune system of the person, and the person is more susceptible to any bacterial or viral infection, dental infections are no exception as well. Individuals suffering from AIDS can easily acquire infections of the teeth and gums. The person may need to go through further Dental problems and treatment to the disease.

The most common problems in the oral cavity which patients of AIDS are affected by are:

  • Oral Warts
  • Hairy leukoplakia
  • Canker sores
  • Fever blisters
  • Oral candidiasis

Patients of AIDS also experience the problem of mouth dryness because sufficient saliva is not produced by the salivary glands. This makes the situation even worse because conditions become ideal for the bacteria and infections to flourish. The teeth become decayed very easily and the difficulty is faced in chewing, eating, swallowing, speaking, etc.

People who are suffering from AIDS should take special care to prevent dental infections, particularly, dental caries and periodontal disease. If the condition occurs, one must go for the nearby dentist for periodontal disease treatment and regular checkup and maintain a healthy body. These are diseases of the teeth and gums which spread via bacterial infections. Patients of AIDS usually also suffer from oral candidiasis. This is a fungal infection of the mouth which mostly occurs due to the weakness of the immune system.