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Dental Health

HIV infection and HIV treatments are associated with a decrease in the normal amount of saliva produced, which in turn can lead to increased risk or tooth decay. Saliva decreases the acidity produced by bacteria in the mouth, and so helps to prevent the loss of calcium and phosphate from the enamel on your teeth.

HIV infection also decreases oral health generally. Many HIV-positive people develop oral fungal, bacterial, or viral infections in the early stages of infection.

Emotional factors such as stress and anxiety, nutritional factors, as well as some HIV medications can cause a higher likelihood of teeth clenching and grinding. This can cause wearing of the teeth and make teeth sore and sensitive.

What you can do to live well:

  • The best way to maintain a healthy mouth is to make 6 monthly visits to your dentist. You can speak to your local AIDS council or people living with HIV organisation about dental schemes that may be available. Be sure to tell your dentist about any medical conditions you have at the time, including your HIV status, and medications you are taking.