HIV gingivitis is an inflammatory gum disease that arises in people suffering from HIV. People who suffer from HIV are more likely to develop HIV gingivitis than those who don’t. Due to their decreased immune system, people with HIV are at more risk of developing a wide range of infections and diseases, including ones in the mouth like cold sores, thrush, tooth decay, and oral warts. Some of these diseases are common only to people who have HIV, however, anyone can develop gingivitis. It is recommended to get your teeth checked up and cleaned biannually to prevent this gum disease to develop.
Gingivitis is usually caused by a lack of proper nutrition or not keeping good oral hygiene habits, but for people with HIV Gingivitis, it is caused by their compromised immune system. Around 40-50% of people with HIV are suffering from an oral infection, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The symptoms of HIV Gingivitis are the same as regular Gingivitis. The first stage usually begins with bright red or purple gums. People may also experience soreness of gums and bleeding gums while brushing or flossing. Other symptoms include swelling or inflammation of the gums, bad breath (also known as halitosis), receding gums, and soft gums. In the later stages of this disease, people experience loosening teeth and gums. Eventually, people will experience their teeth falling out.
HIV gingivitis is easily preventable by flossing regularly, keeping up good oral hygiene and making regular visits to the dentist. Keeping good nutrition may also help. People who have HIV gingivitis can treat their condition by brushing their teeth thoroughly twice a day with anti-bacterial toothpaste, flossing regularly and using an anti-bacterial mouthwash. People who receive HIV treatment could also treat their HIV Gingivitis in the process. Keeping up good oral hygiene habits and seeing a dentist regularly is known to be very effective in treating and preventing the disease known as HIV Gingivitis.