Most poeple would want to know how they can tell if they have HIV without going for a test. Goodnew! Your dentist can tell you.
This is a question often asked by many people. They are terribly scared of going to the laboratory to screening.
This fear is mostly seen in individuals who are careless about their sexual lives. So, they seek ways to find out first hand if they are HIV positive or not.
Here is a way out for you if you have HIV withot going for a laboratory test. Your DENTIST! Yes you heard me right, your dentist is usually the first to detect what wrong with your body system and it’s immunity.
Dentist see variable signs of HIV in the mouth of their patients even before the common symptoms of intermittent fever, headache, intermittent neck swelling and sore throat occurs in the first stages of HIV, within the window period.
A good and well trained dentist, upon seeing these symptoms of HIV in the mouth will probe further into your sexual life and mostly, especially the youths aren’t comfortable talking about it. The Dentist might even have to probe into your drug life.
A good dentist will advice you go for HIV screening and get tested, afterwhich he will request for another confirmation test before certifing you HIV positive. You might not know why, but here are the things he sees, you couldn’t see.
6 Signs of HIV in the mouth
Dry mouth :
Also known as xerostomia. Many things can cause xerostomia(dry mouth) ranging from cancer radiotherapy to weakened immune system, and of course diseases of the salivary gland.Once the immune system is weakened by HIV, the mouth becomes frequently dry leading to mouth ordor, tooth decay and all sort of gum diseases. So, dry mouth is a huge pointer to HIV when seen in the mouth.
This is an infection caused by a fungus (yeast). It comes as red patches on the tongue, roof of the mouth and around the walls of the mouth. It can also come as white lumps of patches that looks like cottage cheese.
This is as a result of weakened immune system. If left untreated early, it could move to the throat, and could even cause painful sores at the corners of the mouth called angular chelitis. Another name of this disease is called thrush.
this appears as a painless, scruffy white patches on the side of the tongue. It is a heavy sign and most definitive sign of HIV.
This is known as herpes labialis caused by a virus called herpes simplex. It’s a common infection aggravated by stress, malaria, fever and weakened immune system. In people with HIV, it’s keeps coming back, being bigger and worse than
before. Acycloviris the commonest drug to treat this
Linear Gingiva erythema:This is a rapid pointer to know you have HIV. It’s not like the common acute marginal gingivitis we see due to poor oral Hygiene. This one follows a particular pattern on the gums close to the teeth necks. It’s painful and in some cases appears and reappears.
Most of these patients are actually in an excellent oral Hygiene state. So, they wonder why the inflammation is there. Once your dentist sees these, he will send to for HIV screening immediately.
Kaposi’s Sarcoma (KS),
usually shows up as dark purple or red spots on the gums, the roof of the mouth, and the back of the tongue. It is rarely seen when people are tested early and start using antiretroviral therapy for HIV infection.
It can be the first sign of HIV infection in people who have not been tested for HIV. The best treatment for oral KS in someone with HIV is effective antiretroviral therapy.
Oral Warts – Human Papillomavirus, HPV
This is a sexually transmitted disease. Some strains of HPV cause warts or cancer. HPV warts can show up in the mouth. The warts can be frozen or cut out.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Signs of HIV infection often show up in the mouth. You might know people who haven’t been tested for HIV. Encourage them to pay attention to any mouth problems. It is one of the most powerful ways of knowing you have HIV.
Keep your mouth healthy by brushing your teeth and flossing. Get your teeth cleaned regularly by a dental health professional. See a health or dental care provider about any serious issues, because you can never know what they can find out.
“Dr. Chukwuebuka Iroanya alias Dr. David Wilifred(BDS, MPH, Dip. International Business Management, MSc in Clinical Dentistry) An ardent Researcher and Public Health Educator. He is a Medical graduate of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka(UNN) and currently the founder and president of Optimus Dental Foundation(ODF). He is currently into active practice as the Director of Oaklands Multispecialty Dental care center. His passion for research works and health article writing is really commendable”