Dental lesions: Diagnosis and treatment

J. A. Phelan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Oral health care has been an integral part of the care of patients with HIV infection and AIDS since the disease was first identified in the early eighties. The spectrum of HIV-associated opportunistic diseases occurring in the oral cavity propelled dental health care providers to the forefront of patient care. Infection control issues soon became important in oral health care for patients infected with HIV, and for the first decade these two issues overshadowed the concerns about appropriate management of the dental needs of HIV-infected patients. Several concerns need to be considered in the management of dental care for patients infected with HIV. These include decreased salivary flow and increased sugar intake, prevention and management of routine inflammatory gingival and periodontal disease as well as the atypical forms of gingival and periodontal disease associated with HIV infection (linear gingival erythema [LGE], necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis [NUG] and necrotizing ulcerative periodontitis [NUP]). Finally, although reports of complications secondary to dental treatment of HIV-infected individuals are rare, it is important to consider those factors related to the medical status of HIV-infected patients which may interfere with oral health care. These include potential bleeding problems related to thrombocytopenia and disease or medication related liver abnormalities, increased risk of local infection particularly in patients with severe neutropenia and adverse effects of multiple medications taken by HIV patients. Prevention and management of dental and periodontal disease in HIV- infected individuals is important to self esteem, quality of life and maintenance of adequate nutritional intake. Oral health care continues to be an important component of overall health care for HIV-infected patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S235-S237
JournalOral Diseases
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - May 1997


  • Dental care
  • HIV
  • Oral health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • General Dentistry


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