|HIV and Dental Health
Jul 20, 2011
Does HIV make people more likely to have dental problems? I made it to age 22 without a single cavity. But, I now seem to get cavities all the time. I also chipped my front tooth from eating bacon, which was very expensive to fix. Granted, I went through most of my 20's without going to the dentist much--no insurance at that time and just busy with being in my 20's.
I brush twice a day and floss. I've noticed many of my friends brush their teeth for only about 30 seconds once a day and don't have these problems. Perhaps it is just genetics and would have been the same if I were neg. But, I have been curious whether HIV plays a role. I thought I was doing the right thing by drinking diet sodas, but I now hear even those are bad. But, all those neg friends I mentioned drink plenty of regular and diet sodas and don't seem to have the same issues. And as I said, they don't brush well and rarely go to the dentist. Just makes me curious.
| Response from Dr. Henry
HIV infection can lead to increased gum problems which can lead to more tooth/dental problems. Generally good control of HIV with antiretrovirals and attention to good dental care will control/minimize dental problems. There are some patients with bone/calcium disorders (either related to HIV and not) that may need to be checked for by your HIV specialist and/or dentist. KH
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