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Weird things in my mouth
Apr 24, 2000

Hi, Dr. Reznik. In July of '99, I received unprotected oral sex from a high-risk woman. I December, I noticed white rings in my mouth, both on my tongue and between my lower gum and lower lip. These rings would widen in diameter over about 4-5 days and vanish, only to appear in a slightly different area. I had an HIV test (about 5.5 months after the encounter) which came back negative. I was alright for a while, but I started worrying again, especially when antibiotics and apthous ulcer medicine prescribed to me didn't do any good. A dermatologist told me it was geographic tongue (which it certainly looks like), but does GT move around in other areas besides the dorsum of the tongue? I've been told by the CDC AIDS hotline that 5.5 months is still an inconclusive test, but I honestly don't think I can stand the stress of another test. HELP!! -Stressed Out

Response from Dr. Reznik

Geographic tongue is an autoimmune disorder that for the most part does appear on the tongue. There are other conditions which can cause the presentation you have described such as erosive lichen planus. I would strongly suggest that you visit a dentist who is experienced in oral medicine or oral pathology for an accurate diagnosis. If you do not have access to these specialists, an oral surgeon can perform a biopsy and send it off for a diagnosis.

Neither erosive lichen planus nor geographic tongue are signs or symptoms of HIV infection.

Take care,


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