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J Periodontol. 2002 Sep;73(9):1071-8.

An update on HIV and periodontal disease.

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Department of Stomatology, University of California-San Francisco, 94143, USA.


With the advent of newer pharmacological approaches to the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, the incidence and progression of both atypical and conventional periodontal diseases are changing. The incidence of necrotizing periodontitis and gingival diseases of fungal origin appears to be on the decline as a result of these therapies that have led to increased life spans for HIV patients. However, in cases where these therapies lose their effectiveness and HIV patients relapse into an immunosuppressed state, these conditions may recur. Recent evidence has shown that HIV patients with more conventional periodontal diseases such as chronic periodontitis may have increased attachment loss and gingival recession when compared to their HIV-negative counterparts. This pattern of loss of periodontal support may be due in part to a diffuse invasion of opportunistic bacterial infections, viruses, and fungi into the gingival tissue, leading to a more elevated and more diffuse destructive inflammatory response in the periodontal soft and hard tissues. While the accepted approaches to treating the spectrum of periodontal diseases in HIV patients remain essentially unchanged over the past 15 years, the impact of newer systemic therapies on patient immunocompetence may influence treatment decisions.

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