HIV in Mouth

HIV Mouth Sores

Mouth sores are a typical symptom of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Pain or bleeding in your mouth can be a sign of infection. It can keep you from consuming usually. Severe pain makes some people skip taking their medications. Serious infections in your mouth can cause other health issue. Make certain to see a dental professional or let your health care provider know if you have problem swallowing, modifications in how food tastes, or pain or other issues with your mouth or teeth.

Some dentists or their office staffers do not wish to treat patients with HIV. This goes against community standards and breaches the Americans with Disabilities Act. Dental health care employees know how to protect themselves from diseases brought in the blood of their patients, consisting of HIV.

What Are HIV Mouth Sores

In truth, one-third of individuals with HIV will establish mouth complications due to a weakened body immune system.

These mouth sores can interfere with your well-being. When it comes to HIV, these sores and infections are harder to treat, and can also disrupt eating and medication.

You may be told that oral issues are minor compared with other things you need to handle. But you understand that they can cause discomfort and shame and truly impact how you feel about yourself. Oral problems can also result in problem with eating. If mouth pain or inflammation makes it tough to chew and swallow, or if you cannot taste food as well as you used to, you might not eat enough. And, your doctor may inform you to eat more than regular so your body has enough energy to deal with HIV.

Herpes simplex, or cold sores

Combating off infections and viruses is harder when you have HIV. One of the most typical infections that individuals have is herpes simplex, or oral herpes. Oral herpes typically looks like red sores in your mouth.

When they appear outside the lips, they may look like blisters. Called “fever blisters,” these red, raised bumps can be painful.

Anybody can get oral herpes, however in someone with HIV or a weakened immune system, oral herpes may be more severe and last longer.

Treatment: Oral herpes is extremely treatable with medication. Your doctor will likely prescribe acyclovir, an antiviral treatment. This medication helps in reducing new break outs.

Do not stop taking your prescription medications until your doctor tells you.

Contagious? Herpes is contagious. Prevent sharing foods when you have herpes.

Aphthous ulcers, or canker sores

Canker sores are common mouth lesions that can cause pain, particularly due to the fact that they do not disappear by themselves. Canker sores are normally red, however can also be covered with a gray or yellow movie.

They tend to establish inside the cheeks, lips, and around the tongue. These locations might make the sores feel more painful due to the fact that they move when you speak or eat.

Canker sores aren’t a symptom of HIV, but having HIV can increase your risk for repeating and severe sores. Other elements that can cause canker sores consist of stress, acidic foods, and mineral shortages that consist of:

  • iron
  • zinc
  • niacin
  • folate
  • glutathione
  • carnitine
  • vitamin B-12

Eating hot or spicy foods while you have a canker sore can likewise increase pain.

Treatment: In moderate cases, over-the-counter (OTC) creams and mouthwashes can decrease swelling and sores. You can likewise treat canker sores with salt water.

Your doctor might recommend corticosteroids in tablet type if you have a severe case of canker sores. For cases of prolonged sores that hinder meals, try topical anesthetic sprays. These can help numb the area.

Contagious? No.

Human papilloma virus (HPV) warts

HPV can cause warts anywhere around the mouth or lips. Warts can look like little cauliflower-like bumps or masses with folds or projections. They can grow within and around the mouth.

Most of the time warts are white, however can also be pink or gray. They’re generally not painful, but they can be irritating. Depending on their location, HIV mouth warts can be picked at and bleed.

HPV is also highly related to oropharyngeal cancer, or throat cancer.

Treatment: Your doctor will have to perform surgery to eliminate warts. You may use a prescription cream for warts on the lips. But there’s no oral medication to treat warts.

Contagious? Possibly, if broken and there’s fluid.

Candidiasis, or thrush

Thrush is a yeast infection that appears as white, yellowish, or red spots anywhere inside the mouth The patches are sensitive and may bleed or burn when unintentionally cleaned. In some cases, thrush will cause painful cracks around your mouth (angular cheilitis). Thrush might also infect the throat, if left neglected.

Treatment: The regular course of treatment for moderate thrush is antifungal mouthwash. However HIV can also increase this infection’s resistance. If this holds true, your doctor might prescribe oral antifungal pills.

Contagious? No.

Gum disease and dry mouth

Although these aren’t sores, gum disease (gingivitis) and dry mouth are common problems. Gum disease causes the gums to swell, and can be painful. In severe cases, it can lead to gum or missing teeths in as quick as 18 months. Gum disease may likewise be an indicator of swelling, which increases your risk for heart disease and stroke.

Dry mouth occurs when you don’t produce sufficient saliva. Saliva can assist protect your teeth along with avoid infections. Without saliva, your teeth and gums are susceptible to plaque development. This can also make gum disease even worse.

Treatment: Drink water, floss, and brush your teeth consistently to keep your mouth clean and hydrated. For gum disease, your dentist will remove the plaque with a deep cleaning approach.

If dry mouth persists, ask your doctor about saliva replacements.

Complications with HIV Mouth Sores Treatment

Mouth sores can also disrupt HIV treatment. Having a decreased immune function can increase the spread of mouth sores, which have the tendency to multiply in large numbers. This can make swallowing tough, triggering some people to skip medications or meals.

Speak with your doctor if you have a difficult time taking HIV medications due to mouth sores so you can find other treatment alternatives.


Without treatment mouth sores can cause infections. Canker and cold sores can pop when you’re consuming or brushing your teeth. Warts and thrush might inadvertently be picked off. Open injuries leave you a lot more vulnerable to infections. Dry mouth likewise increases the risk for infection due to the fact that there is not enough saliva to naturally battle bacteria.

Talk with your doctor about treatment for your mouth sores. Trigger treatment reduces the variety of mouth sores and the risk for infection.

Preventive oral care

One of the best methods to treat and avoid HIV-related mouth sores is to see your dental expert for regular checkups. A dental practitioner can detect issues early on or assist prevent sores from getting worse. Let your dentist understand if you have continuous mouth sores or infections that will not go away. They can help with treatment and handling your symptoms.

Where to find assistance

The essential to handling HIV is to see your doctor frequently and take your medications. Having mouth sores may make taking your medication harder. Speak to your doctor if you have any concerns that hinder your medication.

You can likewise call the CDC National AIDS Hotline at 800-232-4636, if you want to speak to somebody about your condition. Somebody will get your call and have the ability to provide precise information about HIV and health care challenges. They can also share their experiences. Or take a look at other readily available hotlines at Task Inform. There are hotlines for your state, for women, for individuals with disabilities, and more.

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