HIV-positive patients have a compromised immunity system, and in terms of oral health what has been found is that even when dental hygiene is at its best, tooth decay and gum disease as well as yeast, bacteria and viruses prevail.
In the hope of shining some light upon this situation, Dr. José A. Vazquez, Chief of the Chief of the Section of Infectious Diseases at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University has been conducting a study. He believes that: “If we can improve the oral health of these patients, we believe it will further improve their overall health.”
In their research he wants to find out if it is the condition of having HIV that is wrecking havoc in the mouths of patients or if is the antiretroviral therapy they receive or both. Dr. Vazquez has paired-up with Dr. Scott S. De Rossi, Chairman of the Department of Oral Health and Diagnostic Sciences at the GRU College of Dental Medicine and with researchers at Louisiana State University and Ohio State University they have been collecting samples from the mouths of 440 HIV-positive patients.
One of the signs that a person has HIV is when yeast grows in their mouth, eventually since the patient’s immunological system is compromised, yeast will spread over to the throat, lining of the mouth and even the esophagus making it difficult for swallowing.
This study will focus on studying the community of oral organisms also known as microbiota and taking a census of them before and after therapy and making the respective comparisons between healthy patients and those with HIV.
A healthy mouth contains over 600 species of bacteria and they all work together to maintain the balance of your oral health. The researchers are looking at indications and changes in these species of bacteria in the mouths of HIV patients.
The study is still being conducted and the results will surely be of help for HIV patients so that they can improve their overall health in spite of the condition.
By: Prisma Dental
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