Oral health: The First Reflector of AIDS


About Oral health And AIDS

AIDS has taken on massive proportions in modern times. It is estimated that over 15 million people are suffering from the disease and many more are harboring the dreaded Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Besides creating havoc on the body's immune system, the AIDS virus also causes serious damage to the mouth and the surrounding structures. The mouth as we know is a hotbed of all kinds of microorganisms, some of which are quite normal to the area. But under immunocompromised conditions, these 'normal' microorganisms start to cause irreparable damage to the area. Besides, the teeth themselves, lips, tongue, gums and cheeks are affected by AIDS.

What actually happens in AIDS?

The basic defect in AIDS is that the virus destroys the immune system of the affected individual. In fact, it is not as much the virus as the individual who is responsible for all the illnesses suffered as a result of AIDS. All that the virus does is rendering the immune system impotent, thereby affecting the individual's capacity to ward off common infections. This is why pneumonia happens to be the leading cause of mortality in AIDS. One thing to be noted is that being HIV-positive does not necessarily mean having AIDS. These two are different scenarios. Full-blown AIDS occurs only after certain immune functions are completely destroyed by the virus.

 

Disclaimer - The contents of this site are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider regarding any questions you may have about a dental condition.


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