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AIDS IN CHILDREN AFFECTS DENTAL HEALTH

Protect your child from AIDS

Pediatric HIV: Oral lesions are commonly associated with the disease

Across the globe, the presence of HIV is wide-spread, 500,000 children died from disease-related cases in that year alone. In the United States, 90 percent of infected children are infected by the disease through birth.

The effects of the disease on children differ greatly from those in adults, according to a report/study that appears in the July/August 2006 issue of General Dentistry. Type, severity and progression are all factors that differ, depending on the age at which one contracts the disease.Children do not demonstrate HIV-specific symptoms as adults do, their bodies will most likely display an infection or weakness instead of common HIV signs.”

The place where this most commonly occurs is in the mouth. There are many variations of the way lesions appear, but a few common types are: candidiasis, or “thrush,” a fungal yeast infection; salivary gland enlargement; herpes simplex virus; inflammation of the gingiva; and canker sores. Orofacial manifestations of HIV are common in pediatric HIV infection, it is important to be aware of these signs, as they may serve as both a marker of infection and predictor of HIV progressing to AIDS.

What to do:

• Visit your general dentist. They handle the majority of dental emergencies.
• If you fear that your child or teen might be at risk, have them tested as soon as possible. The sooner a child is diagnosed, the sooner treatment can begin.
• Communicate with your dentist if the child has HIV. It will alert them to look closely for signs of disease, plus allow them to provide the best possible treatment 10/06

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