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HIV is a systemic disease which affects all parts of the body. The oral cavity also has some tell-tale symptoms which indicate HIV / AIDS. A careful examination and detailed history of symptoms is essential. In some cases, the oral manifestations could be the area where HIV is suspected. This can help in reducing morbidity and improves prognosis. The oral lesions that occur in HIV patients can vary and differ significantly in children and adults. While there are a variety of oral lesions in HIV-infected individuals, listed below are some common infections seen in HIV patients. These are a combination of fungal, viral and bacterial infections.
- Candidiasis: Candida is an opportunistic fungus that is normally present in the oral cavity and with reduced immunity of HIV, recurrent bouts of the infection begins to show up. It can be in the form of regular thrush which is whitish and cannot be scraped off (pseudomembranous candidiasis), hyperplastic candidiasis (white patches which can be scraped off) or erythematous (reddish patches). Candida can involve any part of the oral mucosa including the pharynx and the palate.
- Herpes Simplex: This is the most common viral infection seen in patients with HIV/AIDS. There could be primary or secondary infection of herpes virus, especially inside the mouth and the vermillion border of the lips.
- Herpes zoster: This virus, when already present in the body, can be reactivated with HIV/AIDS and with oral herpes. The distinction with herpes simplex is from their distribution. These are unilateral, along the distribution of the maxillary or mandibular nerve. The lesions appear both on the facial skin and the oral mucosa. While the facial ones break open and form crusts, the mucosal ones coalesce to form larger lesions.
- Hairy Leukoplakia: This is present in about 20% of asymptomatic HIV patients. Onset of hairy leukoplakia is an indication of rapid progression of HIV with increased CD4 counts. The typical lesion is a non-movable, hairy lesion along the side of the tongue and can spread to the top and the undersurface of the tongue. There are large amounts of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) identified from biopsies of hairy leukoplakia.
- Cytomegalovirus: If the ulcers have a necrotic base with a halo surrounding it, it is CMV infection, usually seen on any oral mucosal surface.
- Periodontal disease: This is one of the bacterial infections that manifests itself in HIV patients. It can take two forms such as Linear Gingival Erythema (LGE) which can subsequently lead to Necrotizing Ulcerative Periodontitis (NUP). The oral hygiene is generally good with minimal plaque and there is rapid bone loss and soft tissue reddening and swelling. The, mouth, therefore is certainly a window to one’s health.
Diagnosing HIV with Western Blot Test-
It is a series of blood screenings are performed to test for HIV. The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), also known as an enzyme immunoassay (EIA), is the first test that your healthcare provider will order to screen for HIV. ELISA, like the Western blot test, detects HIV antibodies in your blood. Antibodies are proteins your immune system produces in response to the presence of foreign substances, such as viruses. If you test positive for HIV on the ELISA test, your provider will order the Western blot test to confirm HIV infection. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.
I chipped my teeth on lower jaw. I bite some thing hard and slightly lost small tip. How much it would be cost for smoothening my chipped tooth.
Omega-3 fatty acids are 'good' fats that reduce cholesterol levels and 'bad' saturated fats from your body. They belong to a family of unsaturated fatty acids and are necessary for the normal functioning of the body. The body cannot synthesize omega-3 fatty acids; hence, you can get it from sources such as salmon which provides omega-3 fatty acids known as ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) and vegetable oils such as soybean oil, rapeseed oil and flaxseed oil that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).
How can they help in gum problems?
A study, published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, was based on a survey called the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, researched and studied the effects of consumption of DHA on dental health. After studying data from over 9000 participants, researchers found that the people, who consumed the highest amount DHA amongst all, were 20% less prone to developing periodontitis.
Periodontitis is an inflammatory gum disease caused by bacteria that accumulate around the gums. It causes the gums to recede, leading to the development of gaps between the gums and teeth and loss of bones that provide support to the teeth. Periodontitis may even cause tooth loss.
The research showed that even consuming a small amount of omega-3 fatty acids offered protection against gum diseases. Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties, which help relieve inflammation of gums that occurs in periodontitis. Researchers from Kentucky University found that omega-3 fatty acids have anti-bacterial properties, which prevent and cure gum diseases. Gum diseases have been related to other conditions such as heart disease, pneumonia and diabetes, hence keeping gum diseases at bay keeps other fatal diseases away as well.
The treatment to save and repair a badly infected or damaged tooth is known as Root Canal Treatment. The backbone of the procedure includes removal of the pulp which is the damaged region of the tooth, disinfecting and cleaning the pulp and finally sealing the area. The common problems that affect the pulp are a deep cavity, cracked tooth, pain or recurring dental treatment. The nerve of a tooth is not absolutely important for tooth’s functioning and health after it has emerged through the gums. Its only purpose is sensation – whether an item is hot or cold. It is not required for daily functioning.
Damage to the pulp or nerve tissue of a tooth can break it down and cause bacterial growth which in turn leads to an infection and an abscessed tooth. The abscess is a pocket that is filled with pus which is formed at the base of the roots of the tooth. Additionally, infection at the root canal can cause:
1. Loss of bone at the tip of the root.
2. Swelling that might spread to other areas of the face and body
A typical root canal treatment, which happens over a few office visits, involves the following steps:
1. X-Ray: In case you need root canal treatment, X-rays might be taken or previous X-rays could be checked in order to locate the area of decay.
2. Anaesthesia: Administration of local anaesthesia is administered to the infected tooth.
3. Pulpectomy: The diseased tooth is removed by making an opening at the area.
4. Filling: The opened roots are filled using gutta-percha material and sealed off using cement.