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Medication and teeth health
Sep 9, 2004

I am working with a client that is concerned about her teeth since her last visit to the dentist.The dentist told her that her teeth are detereorating from her HIV meds. She is currently taking viramune and combivir. Is this common?

Response from Dr. Conway

HIV (or some of the medications used to treat it) can be associated with a dry mouth, which increases the likelihood of cavities. Viramune and Combivir are not commonly associated with this, however. There is an increased prevalence of periodontal disease with linear gingival erythema that can cause tooth loss. This needs to be treated aggressively with the help of a dentist and the use of something like a chlorhexidine mouthwash. Other lesions in the mouth (such as hairy leukopplakia and thrush, warts, etc..) may be more common as the CD4 count decreases and must be sought out by regular, careful exams by the dentist.

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