5 Reasons HIV Should Prompt You to Take Better Care of Your Oral Health

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5 Reasons HIV Should Prompt You to Take Better Care of Your Oral Health

5 Reasons HIV Should Prompt You to Take Better Care of Your Oral Health

3 January 2017
Health & Medical , Blog

Oral health is always important, and everyone should make sure they brush and floss each day and see a dentist regularly. However, this is even more important for people who suffer from HIV.

Here are just five reasons why. 

1. HIV Often Causes Oral Health Issues

The mouth is one of the most likely areas of your body to become infected, even in people without HIV, since it is an open cavity that is frequently introduced to various external substances. This means that the mouth is often one of the first parts of the body to show signs of a HIV infection, and many opportunistic infections become more likely to occur due to the body's reduced ability to protect itself. Oral thrush (candidiasis), for example, is more likely to occur if you have HIV, and there is even a special form of gum disease, known as Necrotizing Ulcerative Periodontitis (NUP), that is associated with the condition.

2. Infections Can Spread to the Rest of the Body

Any oral infection is going to be cause for concern, but they can become even more serious since they can spread to other parts of the body. If you have something as simple as an abscess in your mouth, the pus inside can be transferred to the bloodstream and then carried to other parts of the body, including the heart. Since people with HIV live with compromised immune systems, this is more likely to occur and more likely to develop into a serious condition.

3. Oral Health Issues Can Affect Your Medication

There have been huge breakthroughs in HIV treatment during the last few decades, so people suffering from the condition can now use various medications to lead a normal life. Unfortunately, oral health issues can sometimes negatively impact the way your body is able to absorb HIV medication.

4. HIV Can Cause a Reduction in Bone Mineral Density

Though the exact causes are unknown, many people who suffer from HIV suffer from low bone mineral density (BMD). Luckily, this does not affect the enamel that protects your teeth, but it could have an impact on the underlying bone structure. This bone is vital to strong oral health, and you need it to be of sufficient density in case you ever need to have dentures fitted. Periodontal disease and other oral health issues can also affect that underlying bone. A dentist will be able to spot signs of deterioration early, so regular dental care is critical.

5. HIV Medications Are Associated with Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is a condition that many people tend not to worry about. However, a decrease in salivary production should be considered serious since your saliva contains compounds that are used to keep your mouth clean. Having dry mouth means that you will be more likely to develop oral health issues, but dentists can spot the problem and provide an artificial saliva product.

About Me
How to Maintain and Improve Your Health

Hello! Welcome to my blog, my name is Brian. Ever since I was a boy, I have been interested in how the human body works. I would spend hours reading my dad's medical textbooks. My dad was a doctor at the local hospital so there was no shortage of information and equipment lying around our home. I read about all the different types of diseases and conditions which can affect the human body and I decided I would do my best to stay as healthy as possible. Although I didn't train as a doctor myself, I have a keen interest in health and medicine. I decided to start a blog to share my passion with the rest of the world.