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HIV/AIDS and Oral Health

mouth problems + hivWhat Oral Problems are Caused by HIV/AIDS?

People with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), are at special risk for oral health problems. Many of these problems arise because the person’s immune system is weakened and less able to fight off infection.

Some of the most common oral problems for people with HIV/AIDS include: oral warts; fever blisters; hairy leukoplakia; oral candidiasis (thrush); and aphthous ulcers, often called canker sores.

People with HIV/AIDS may also experience dry mouth, which increases the risk of tooth decay and can make chewing, eating, swallowing, and even talking difficult.


Many of the common oral health problems associated with HIV can often be treated with over-the-counter or prescription medications. There are also self-care steps you can take to help ease dry mouth.

Health Information

  • Mouth Problems and HIV
    Information for patients that explains the most common oral problems linked to HIV and shows what they look like.  It also describes where in the mouth they occur and how they are treated.
  • MedlinePlus:  HIV/AIDS and Oral Health
    The NIH National Library of Medicine's compilation of links to government, professional and non-profit/voluntary organizations with information on HIV/AIDS and oral health.




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This page last updated: February 26, 2014