How HIV and AIDS Affect Dental Health
If you live with HIV or AIDS, it is important that your dentist is a part of your treatment plan. That’s because you are more susceptible to encountering dental infections which can have an effect on your health and well-being.
How Does HIV or AIDS Affect the Mouth?
Actually, your mouth may be the first part of your body that shows the effects of HIV. That’s because the infection has weakened the immune system. This can lead to tooth loss or pain. Here are some other symptoms patients will face:
• Dry mouth
• White lesions found on the side of the tongue
• Ulcerative periodontitis
• Kaposi's Sarcoma
• Herpes Simplex Virus
• Mouth ulcers
• Canker sores
Some symptoms can be painful. They could even lead to difficulty swallowing or chewing which could prevent you from getting the nutrition you need.
Coping with Mouth Issues
Many of the dental issues you face are treatable. There are also several ways to prevent common issues from occurring.
• Attend all your regularly scheduled dental appointments for a professional cleaning
• Take all of your HIV medication as directed by your doctor
• Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes at a time
• Floss once daily
• If your medication is causing dry mouth symptoms, talk to your doctor about other options
• If dry mouth continues to be a concern, try chewing sugarless gum on a regular basis to increase saliva production
• Drink plenty of water and ensure that you are eating a well-balanced diet
• Avoid sugary foods and drinks
• Don’t be afraid to get a referral to an oral surgeon or periodontist if your dental conditions are severe.
Your Hesperia, CA dentist knows plenty of good specialists that will be able to help you with more intensive treatment.
Fighting AIDS or HIV doesn’t have to be discouraging. As technology and science continue to offer new treatments, there is no reason you can’t continue to live a healthy and vibrant life. Talk to your dentist about options that are currently available to you so the two of you can work together to achieve the healthy, beautiful smile you deserve.