DH Dental / Doctors Hospital, Johar Town, Lahore Pakistan

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0322.336.8251

HIV / AIDS / STDs & Oral Care

Definition

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). This virus is passed from one person to another through blood-to-blood contact (blood transfusion, HIV infected needles) and sexual contact. The most common oral issues for HIV/AIDS individuals are: oral warts, fever blisters, hairy leukoplakia (black hairy tongue), oral thrush and canker sores. Other oral issues that occur in the mouth are: dry mouth, which can lead to cavities, and difficulty eating and communicating. If you have HIV, changes in your mouth may reflect changes in your immune status.

Pregnant women can pass the infection to their babies during pregnancy, delivery or after birth through breastfeeding.

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections that you can develop from sexual contact with someone with the infection. The most common conditions include, but are not limited to: chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital herpes, HIV/AIDS, human papilloma viruses (HPV), syphilis and trichomoniasis. Some STDs can also affect your oral health; common symptoms of this are cold sores or sores on the inside of the mouth.

Symptoms to Look For

Symptoms depend on the type of STD contracted. Oral gonorrhea, as described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is also called pharyngeal gonorrhea because it typically affects the pharynx.

Symptoms that could indicate an oral STD include:

  • Sores in the mouth, which may be painless.
  • Lesions similar to cold sores and fever blisters around the mouth.
  • Red, painful throat and difficulty swallowing.
  • Tonsillitis.
  • Redness with white spots resembling strep throat.
  • Whitish or yellow discharge.

Often, an oral STD doesn’t produce any noticeable symptoms, according to Brown University‘s Student Health Services. So it’s important to be aware of both your own oral health and that of your partner as best you can.

Treatment for Oral STDs

Your form of treatment will differ depending on the type of STD you have and its severity. Mild oral herpes, for example, can be treated through the prescription of a topical anesthetic to reduce the pain from oral blisters and lesions while the immune system works to restore your oral health. In more severe cases, however, anti-viral medications can help to speed up the process. A solution such as Colgate Peroxyl Mouth Sore Rinse is recommended by dental professionals to cleanse and soothe canker sores, denture and mouth irritations.

Oral gonorrhea is usually treated with a range of antibiotics called cephalosporins; however, the emergence of drug-resistant strains is causing concern among medical practitioners, so it’s important for patients to follow treatment instructions very diligently. Syphilis is most commonly treated with penicillin, suggests Mayo Clinic, whereas oral chlamydia is treated with antibiotics such as azithromycin or doxycycline, according to the CDC.

We are dedicated to giving each of our patients the healthy smile they deserve!

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