HIV : Xerostomy, dental caries and periodontal disease in HIV+ patients


The acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) was and still is one of the pathologies of greatest interest for the international scientific community; consequently, information about it has greatly advanced in a relatively short time.

Besides developments in medical research, the AIDS epidemic has provoked considerable changes in behavior, attitudes, and prejudice, and it has generated an intense mobilization to raise the consciousness of the population in relation to the disease and to the current scientific achievements, with the advent of antiretroviral therapies and other aspects of treatment made available for patients living with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus).

AIDS incidence and mortality rate has become reduced in some countries.

After the introduction of HAART (highly active antiretroviral therapy), undesirable adverse effects related to the therapy itself became noticeable, many of which occur in the oral cavity.

Read Also: Oral Manifestations of HIV: Case Studies

Among the many adverse effects, we have identified xerostomy, which is present in most patients living with HIV, and has been attributed to HIV contamination itself and/or due to immunossuppression as well as because of treatment with HAART.

It is known that partial or complete reduction of salivary flow and alterations in salivary composition can be a consequence of dental caries and periodontal diseases, considering that from an immunological point of view saliva helps the organism to protect itself against other diseases.

A great difference was observed in HIV patients, when salivary flow is reduced or lacking, which makes alterations in saliva an important cofactor in oral manifestations of disease.

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Brazilian Journal of Infectious Diseases
Julio César Cavasin Filho / Élcio Magdalena Giovani




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