HIV and Oral Health
Oral Problems Caused by HIV/AIDS?
People with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), are at special risk for oral health problems. Many of these problems arise because the person’s immune system is weakened and less able to fight off infection.
Some of the most common oral problems for people with HIV/AIDS include:
- oral warts
- fever blisters
- hairy leukoplakia
- oral candidiasis (thrush)
- aphthous ulcers, often called canker sores
People with HIV/AIDS may also experience dry mouth, which increases the risk of tooth decay and can make chewing, eating, swallowing, and even talking difficult.
Many of the common oral health problems associated with HIV can often be treated with over-the-counter or prescription medications. There are also self-care steps you can take to help ease dry mouth.
To learn more about HIV/AIDS and oral health, please see:
Publications in Spanish
- Problemas orales en pacientes con infección por el VIH
- Spanish version of “Mouth Problems and HIV”. This information is for people who have mouth (oral) problems related to HIV infection. It explains the most common oral problems linked to HIV and shows what they look like. It also describes where in the mouth they occur and how they are treated.
News Releases and Articles
- Tonsils May Play a Role in HIV Transmission (July 2007)
- New Lead in Oral Resistance to HIV-1 Infection (May 2005)
Reports from Conferences, Meetings and Workshops
Other Government Information
- MedlinePlus: HIV/AIDS and Oral Health
The National Library of Medicine’s compilation of links to government, professional and non-profit/voluntary organizations with information on HIV/AIDS and oral health.
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