Severe immunosuppression in patients affected with HIV may be at risk of developing specific HIV gum disease. HIV gums commonly suffer from linear Gingival Erythema (LGE) which appears with redness on the gum line. This, however, should not be confused with normal gingivitis or sores in the mouth.
Symptoms of Linear Gingival Erythema
• Redline on the gum – This redline appears in the areas where the gum and teeth meet.
• Painful swelling of the gum – When this starts, it becomes impossible to chew hard foods as the teeth and gum will be sore.
• Loss of teeth – This happens in severe cases. If it is not detected earlier, the gum disease may start destroying the bones and gums that support the teeth. This can happen just within a period of 18 months.
It’s important therefore to be always on the lookout of your gum in case you are infected with HIV infection. Visit your dentist if you notice signs of Linear Gingival Erythema (LGE) so as to start early medication. Anti-microbial mouth rinse will be effective to stop the damage of the gums if detected early. You will still be required to maintain regular oral hygiene with fluoride toothpaste and floss your teeth at least once a day.
In case the gum is damaged, scaling and root planing may be an option. It’s also important to note that the pain caused by Linear Gingival Erythema (LGE) may be an indication of inflammation. This, therefore, raises the risks of getting stroke and heart diseases.
It’s good to be on the lookout especially if you are infected with HIV. Gum diseases should not be ignored especially during this times. Proper gum medication and good oral hygiene will go a long way in helping your gum and teeth remain strong during these times.