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Oral Health and HIVOral Health and HIV
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How soon after?
Jun 22, 1999

Dear Dr. Reznik,

How soon after a person is infected woth HIV do you think it would take for them to develp dry mouth and the accompanying coatd tongue? I'm curious because they say that oral problems are usually a good indicator of disease progression. Besides medications, is there any clue to what cuases this dry mouth? Also where does this mucous come from that is part if this problem. I heard ginger juice can help coated tongue-any comment?

Thanks jack

Response from Dr. Reznik

Dear Jack:

Whereas it is true that the oral cavity is a great diagnostic tool in regards to disease progression, there are so many potential causes of xerostomia (dry mouth)that this alone would not be indicative of HIV infection. Potential other causes of dry mouth besides the over 500 medications which can lead to this condition are smoking, mouth breathing, alcohol consumption and stress.

I am unaware of ginger juice as a means of addressing the problems associated with dry mouth, but would be interested to hear any news in this regard.

Take care,


Dry Mouth
White coating and ulcers on tongue

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