Getting an HIV is a common manifestation of the disease. It can have a big impact on a person’s quality of life if they do not get the proper treatment. Even a dentist near Cheltenham advises HIV patients to seek treatment right away as HIV can worsen to a deadlier condition.
According to the World Health Organization, almost 50% of people with HIV have oral infections that can cause complications in the mouth, including sores.
Oral herpes can cause painful red sores on the lips, tongue, gums, and inner part of the cheeks. These are commonly known as cold sores or fever blisters, and they result from infection with the herpes simplex virus.
Anyone can get oral herpes, but HIV increases the risk for opportunistic infections, such as herpes simplex virus or HSV. People with untreated HIV may experience more prolonged and severe outbreaks of cold sores.
People can reduce their risk of contracting HSV by not kissing or sharing foods with someone with oral herpes. HSV can also cause genital herpes, which a person can transmit during vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
Fortunately, herpes can be treated. Doctors may prescribe oral antiviral medications, such as acyclovir or valacyclovir.
Human papillomavirus or HPV infections are prevalent among people who are living with HIV. HPV can cause small white bumps, on and around the mouth and lips. These warts are in most cases not painful though, but can bleed when frequently touched or pricked.
Most people who have oral HPV do not experience any symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they can include:
- painful sores inside the mouth
- difficulty swallowing
- swollen tonsils
- a sore throat
Here are some effective ways to reduce the risk of oral HPV:
- getting the HPV vaccine
- using a condom during sex
- limiting the number of sexual partners
- quitting smoking and other tobacco products
Canker sores, also known as aphthous ulcers, are painful ulcers that develop on the soft tissue inside the mouth.
These sores can be reduced with the following methods:
- avoiding and managing stress
- avoiding spicy or acidic foods and beverages
- chewing carefully to avoid injuring the mouth
- eating a balanced and healthful diet
For mild canker sores, rinsing the mouth with an over-the-counter mouthwash can reduce inflammation and keep the ulcers clean. In severe cases, a doctor or dentist may prescribe medicated ointments and mouthwash to minimize pain and promote healing.
Going to a dentist is also a good way to prevent mouth sores.
Some other ways to prevent mouth sores include:
- taking HIV medications consistently
- practicing good oral hygiene
- staying hydrated
- avoiding spicy and acidic foods and beverages
- eating a balanced diet
Other Important Factors to Consider
Mouth sores are a common symptom of HIV, and they have many possible causes. By applying proper oral hygiene, people can manage most types of mouth sores. It is also important to see a dentist for regular checkups. Dentists can help manage symptoms of oral infections and prevent recurring mouth sores.