Management of the patient with AIDS in the dental practice

The HIV virus attacks the immune system of people, weakening it and making them vulnerable to a series of infections, some of which endanger life.

In the dentist’s office, not all patients will refer them to the specialist who has HIV, for this reason the health professional should treat all of their patients taking the same biosafety measures.

Use of protective clothing and insulating barriers (gloves, face mask, protective mask, gowns, and caps) in each case attended.

Hand washing before, during and after treatment.

Sterilization and disinfection of the office, materials and equipment.

Disposal of disposable material.

If the patient enters the clinic manifesting his illness, it is important that the dentist knows the current status of his infection.  For this it would be useful to consult the treating doctor, if the patient’s status is unknown, the dentist should not perform any type of practice since it could put the patient’s life at risk.

If the patient does not manifest his illness, but there is some suspicion, in the first place it would be opportune to talk, taking him confidentially to recognize his illness. If you remain in your attitude of denial because of fear or real lack of knowledge of your situation, it is advisable to request an interconsultation with a clinical doctor or infectious disease specialist, suggesting an immunological study of the patient.

Patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus often suffer from characteristic lesions in the oral cavity and in some patients oral lesions are the first manifestation of the disease.

Candidiasis:  Candidiasis occurs in more than 50% of infected patients, with erythematous predominating in the early stages and pseudomembranous in patients who have developed AIDS. Patients in the mirror have simultaneous lesions on the palate and back of the tongue.

Hairy leukoplakia:  It presents as a whitish lesion, with a corrugated surface, not removable, on the lateral edges of the tongue in 10% of patients infected with the AIDS virus. Your diagnosis must be confirmed with a biopsy

Gingival Linear Erythema:  It presents as a strip of intense red color along the marginal gingiva, not related to bacterial plaque. The gum may be affected in its entirety or partially.

Necrotizing Periodontitis:  is an infection characterized by a necrosis of the gingival tissue, the periodontal ligament and the alveolar bone.

Recurrent pathos ulcerations:  It is an acute disease that affects almost the entire mucosa, with the exception of the gum and the hard palate, in patients infected with HIV. They are recurrent naphtha in immunosuppressed patients. They appear as erosions or superficial, rounded or oval ulcerations of 2 to 5 mm. in diameter, with a yellowish background of necrotic tissue and surrounded by a reddish inflammatory halo. Their number is variable, very painful, lasting more than 8 or 10 days, and then reappearing some time later.

Kaposi’s sarcoma:  it starts as an erythematous or lilaceous stain or plaque that does not make relief. Its usual location is the palate or the gum, but we have seen it in the language. The lesion progressively becomes highlighted until it becomes a rapidly growing tumor mass. Simultaneously you can see other injuries in different parts of the body. Confirmation with a biopsy is necessary.