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Oral Health and HIVOral Health and HIV
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Nov 28, 2001

Goodafternoon Dr. I have a couple of questions I hope you will answer for me? First let me say that I am writting you to make sure I do not make a mistake that could cost me my life. First of all I have recently started a treatment program for my teeth. Upon my most recent vist to the dentist I was told I had "rampant tooth decay in several teeth" He says I am in serious need of 2 root canals, about 8fillings, and one tooth exstraction(this one has been really bad for quite sometime has a hole in it and most of the tooth is gone). He will exstract the tooth use artical bone to build up the area which has recieded due to negelect and then take and put in a perminate new tooth in its place using a screw. I am also told I have gengivitis,and "gum problems".and "periodontal problems".When I brush my teeth I do get blood frequently but if for example I spit saliva out, I dont see any blood. Never see visable blood if I spit during the day. He is starting all of this in mid November and should be done with most of it by Jan. ecept the perminate replacement tooth which he will wait three months to put in should be through with that by April. My qestions are as follows: How long after doing this should I wait to have oral sex? Is it safe to have oral sex(with a female) while I have missing tooth? How can I tell if my mouth is not at greater risk of getting infected? Is not seeing visable blood enough? Can I really get HIV from giving oral sex to a womna? I decided to do all of this after getting concerned about the possibility of getting HIV from oral sex with women as I had oral sex with one about a month ago and someone said that it was possible to get it that way. So do you think I put my self at serious risk of HIV by perfoming oral sex on a woman with my mouth in the condition it is in now??? PLEASE HELP ME I AM SCARED!!! Bless you!

Response from Dr. Reznik

"So do you think I put my self at serious risk of HIV by performing oral sex on a woman with my mouth in the condition it is in now???" There is no easy answer to this question. There are many factors which would play a role:

We do know that HIV is present in cervical secretions. We also know the presence of other STD's such as herpes can increase the possibility of transmission.

A great percentage of people have periodontal disease, yet transmission is still limited. Rampant dental decay would not play a factor unless there was periodontal involvement.

Are you at great risk? No. I would recommend that you wait a few days after periodontal deep cleaning before performing oral intercourse. I would definitely suggest you wait until the extraction site is healed before performing oral sex. Your greatest risk will be after the dental extraction. The key is to not engage in this activity while you have an open wound in your mouth. Of course, there are ways to play safe.


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