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Teenager going crazy...could I be a hypochondriac?
Mar 8, 2000

IT has been 5 months since my sexual encounter where precum is the only possible way I can have contracted HIV. But I am so scared. Lately I have had a really dry mouth and I have been examining it like crazy. I first noticed that I have a white line on each side of my tongue as well as on my cheeks corresponding to where my teeth close. I have never really noticed my tongue, but I am not sure if these few white bump things towards the middle back and back of my tongue are normal or what. I also have these white bumps on the sides of my top lip which have not gone away, and I noticed a month or so ago. I know you can't diagnose over this, but please tell me what you think. Also, when reading a list of possible symptoms, I always see "persistent white spots on tongue and mouth." What exactly does this mean??? THANK YOU!!!!!!

Response from Dr. Reznik

Many of the symptoms you refer to in this question are common every day occurrences in the general population. For instance, dry mouth is a very common condition that can be related to stress, smoking, drinking alcoholic beverages, and numerous prescription and over-the-counter medications. There seems to be some confusion regarding dry mouth, which is a common question in this Forum. People who live with HIV infection often present with dry mouth which can be due to HIV's involvement with certain salivary glands, medications taken and stress. This is not so much a symptom of HIV infection, but an effect. Just because a person has dry mouth does NOT mean they are infected with HIV.

The white lines you refer to on the sides of your tongue and on your cheeks, where your teeth come together again is not a symptom of HIV infection, but rather a sign that you are biting your tongue and cheek. Again, this is a relatively common condition in the general population which is related to stress and can be nothing more than a "habit".

The white areas of the back of your tongue are a little more puzzling, but are probably nothing more than normal anatomy. "Persistent white spots on the tongue and mouth" refer to two possible occurrences: oral hairy leukoplakia and oropharyngeal candidiasis (thrush).

If you were referred to my office with the symptoms previously mentioned in this question, I would not suspect HIV infection. This response is by no means a definitive clean bill of health, even though the potential exposure you mentioned is relatively minor. For your peace of mind, I would suggest you have an HIV test.

I hope this helps!

DR


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