Oral hygiene and infectious diseases: AIDS


AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) appeared as a truly global epidemic back in the 80s of last century, becoming a curse for specific population groups that were particularly affected and marked but fortunately today’s scientific advances have I managed to halt their advance and improve the lives of patients. In fact, with the new highly active antiretroviral treatment, it is possible to keep the virus at bay and turn the infected person in a chronically ill with a life expectancy almost similar to an uninfected person. AIDS is the most advanced stage of infection caused by HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), which may or may not appear in infected individuals, in fact the virus, can remain without showing obvious symptoms up to 10 years in the absence of antiretroviral treatment.

It is therefore very important attention to the first visible signs and symptoms of HIV, which typically first appear in the mouth. Thus, oral health professionals (dentists, dental hygienists, etc.) are crucial to detect infected patients and ensure well-being that should not be underestimated role.

The HIV virus does not affect the teeth but the soft tissues such as lips, tongue, gums, palate or skin. Only when the disease, AIDS appears, and in very advanced stages, beginning more severe problems such as gum and bone destruction. However, as a side effect of certain antiretroviral drugs may appear dry mouth by reducing salivary flow, which increases the risk of dental caries.

Oral hygiene and infectious diseases

Oral health is especially important in people infected with HIV and suffering from AIDS patients because oral diseases are very common (over 90%) among this group of people, with problems such as white or yellow plates and sores, infections gums, herpes sores, dark plates and dry or sore mouth and throat. Moreover, oral lesions may announce the deterioration of the immune function of HIV-infected, so specialists can go ahead and start with different treatments. Similarly, if any pockets of infection in the mouth is controlled risks other systemic infections, which may be severe in people with impaired immune function are eliminated, as is the case.

Not forget also the quality of life of these patients. The malfunction of the teeth affects very negatively to routine actions like eating way, what you can do to slim and psychological disorders are generated as well as physical. Not to mention that if there is pain when eating and swallowing a barrier is generated for a successful medical treatment, for example through pills or tablets.

Therefore, in cases of patients with HIV or AIDS, collaboration and close relationship between oral health professionals and other medical equipment involved in the treatment of this group of people it is very important.

Oral hygiene adopted in these patients one, if anything, more important, with such simple guidelines as effective as regular tooth brushing using a soft brush, taking care not to damage the gums; the use of dental floss to remove biofilm in the interproximal spaces, the use of oral antiseptics as well as add fluoride (mouthwash, toothpaste) to prevent and reduce the incidence of caries.

Similarly, regular visits to oral health professionals are vital and certainly show complex in patients being infected with HIV are still asymptomatic. Institutions such as the US Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) estimate that HIV patients should be examined by your dentist at least every six months, a review in which the presence of injuries or complications that must be treated is located. Similarly, professionals can prescribe supplements to strengthen oral hygiene and thus achieve an adequate quality of life.


Written by suNCh8

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