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Pesqui Odontol Bras. 2002 Apr-Jun;16(2):144-50.

[Relation between biofilm, caries activity and gingivitis in HIV + children].

[Article in Portuguese]

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  • 1Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


The utilization of medicines to treat HIV-infected children has been promoting a decrease in the prevalence of soft-tissue oral lesions, as years pass by. In contrast, it has been observed that the experience of caries and gingivitis is constant in this population, mostly because of the chronic influence of some factors involved in the HIV-infection process, such as the chronic utilization of sweetened liquid medicines and carbohydrate-enriched diet, as well as frequent episodes of hospitalization. So, the purpose of this study was to evaluate if the quality and quantity of biofilm are important factors in the activity of dental caries and gingivitis, also in this special group. After examination of the biofilm (biofilm index - Ribeiro23, 2000), the activity of caries and gingivitis was assessed in 56 children, aging from 0 to 14 years, who were patients with definitive diagnosis of HIV infection. It was observed that only 7 subjects (12.5%) did not present with clinically visible biofilm, and 33 (58.9%) presented with gingivitis, with the average of 4.44 bleeding sites. As to dental caries, 73.2% of the patients presented with active carious lesions. A strong correlation was verified between Biofilm Index, gingival status and active carious lesions (Spearman's correlation test, r s = +0.57 and r s = +0.49, respectively). It was concluded that, also in HIV-infected children, the quality and quantity of biofilm over the dental surfaces are important etiologic factors related to the activity of caries and gingivitis. Biofilm should, thus, be controlled in order to reestablish the oral health of HIV-infected children.

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