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HIV Mouth Sores

hiv mouth sores

Popularly known by many as ulcers, mouth sores are recognized as one of the prevailing signs of HIV infection. If the illness is left untreated, mouth sores can severely affect how an HIV-positive person deals with his/her daily life activities. While it is known that HIV impairs the body’s immune system, it opens doors for many health concerns, one of these is the appearance of oral complications.

Mouth sores can cause annoying and painful ulcers inside the mouth. It makes eating or swallowing very difficult and challenging. As said above, it can only affect your daily habits, especially with your meal. The following tackles the different causes of mouth sores in people who have been diagnosed with HIV. Also, consider the treatment options available with regards to these causes.


Canker sores

Also identified as aphthous ulcers, canker sores appear as small lesions usually emerged on the mouth’s soft tissues. These types of sores do not develop on the lips and they are not communicable. There is no concrete evidence as to how canker sores develop. However, there are suspected factors leading to the condition.

  • Minor injury of the mouth
  • Vitamin deficiency
  • Stress (emotional stress)
  • Weakened or impaired immune system
  • Allergic response
  • Sensitivity to food

There are certain ways to avoid canker sores, some of these are as follows:

  • Following a healthy diet
  • Taking vitamins
  • Refrain from eating spicy foods

Over-the-counter medicines are available to help in treating canker sores. You can immediately buy it in any pharmacy.


HPV or Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV usually occurs in women. It doesn’t just affect the mouth but also the throat, making it a little difficult to treat. One of the many signs of HPV is the emergence of warts, usually developing inside the mouth or surrounding the lips. This infection can also trigger warts development in the genital region. If left untreated, HPV can cause cancer.

Some of its symptoms are as follows:

  • Genital warts
  • Common warts
  • Plantar warts
  • Flat warts

There are certain ways to avoid HPV. Some of these are as follows:

  • Receiving HPV vaccination
  • Utilizing the safety of condom use during sexual intercourse
  • Practicing monogamous sex


Gum infection

One of the major signs of gum infection is the development of swollen and inflamed gums. Oral health becomes compromised when this condition occurs, resulting in bad mouth odor, development of cavities in between teeth, the emergence of one or two mouth sores, and of course, sudden loss of a tooth.

Some of its symptoms are as follows:

  • Swollen gums
  • Painful and bleeding gums
  • Teeth sensitivity
  • Painful sensation during eating or chewing

There are certain ways to avoid gum infection. Some of these are as follows:

  • Regular brushing, at least twice on a daily basis
  • Using floss after eating or brushing
  • Preventing bad mouth odor by gargling mouthwash
  • Dental checkups regularly

Oral herpes

It is already known that oral herpes is brought about by HSV or herpes simplex virus. The first type of infection involving HSV is also known as oral herpes. While this infection is considered daunting, treatment options are accessible to minimize its effects on the body and prevent recurrent episodes of outbreaks.

Some of its symptoms are as follows:

  • Fever and chills
  • Severe pain in the muscles
  • Swollen glands
  • Numbing and burning sensations

As mentioned, there are treatment options available in the market today to address oral herpes. Other than using topical creams, there are drugs you can take to minimize its hostile effects. These drugs are in the form of valacyclovir and acyclovir.

Kaposi’s sarcoma

Also known as cancer involving the skin, Kaposi’s sarcoma is also one of the main causes of mouth sores. Apart from the appearance of sores in the mouth, KS can also trigger painful ulcers in the genital regions.

Some of its symptoms are as follows:

  • Swelling on the skin
  • Noticeable lumps
  • Painless spots (sometimes red or purple)
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Aside from its development on the skin surface, Kaposi’s sarcoma can also happen inside the body. To test if you have this condition, diagnosis is done by performing a chest X-ray, endoscopy, or bronchoscopy. Treatment for this health concern may involve the usage of antiretroviral medications and minor surgeries.

Preventing the development of mouth sores is an easy undertaking, only if you follow the directives and instructions provided by your healthcare professional. These instructions may include staying healthy and keeping good oral hygiene. Other than that, drinking plenty of water can keeps the mouth hydrated and eating only nutritious food helps maintain the body’s well-being. If, in any case, the mouth sores have gone severe, it is time to consult your healthcare professional and obtain the necessary medical care. 

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