Main Forums > Living With HIV

Does the Dentist need to know?

<< < (2/9) > >>

The reason I tell my dentist is so that he (or she) can look a little more closely for the beginnings of infection, gum disease, or tooth decay. Because with an impaired immune system, what someone else might shrug off could be dangerous to me.

Frankly, I disclose not for his safety, but so that I get the extra care I need. There are OIs which manifest in the oral cavity as well, and sometimes knowing my HIV ststus makes the diff between a dentist disregarding stuff and treating me for something. It's certainly saved my teeth on more then one occasion :)

Last time I went to the dentist, they said I had the teeth of an eighteen year old. I replied that the rest of him was on back-order  <grin>

I'm a little weird about my teeth, because I had braces as a kid. I floss twice a day, use teeth whitening stuff, minimize coffee and red wine, all that stuff. Personally, were I you, with the money and effort you have put into your teeth, I would disclose. Be a shame to have gum disease or simple gingivitis take all those teeth because your immune system had bigger fish to fry, right?

That is GREAT rob...

unfortunately I would only make a good hand model...

I told my dentist about my HIV status when I started going to him about 10 years ago and no one in his office batted an eye. They ask me the usual questions about medication changes when I go for my check ups and that is about it. One time my dentist told me I had some white areas on my throat that my MD should look at, which turned out to be thrush. My opinion is if a dentist has a problem with my HIV status I do not want him or her working on my teeth.

Rob - Dublin:
Thanks guys for the views.

For me, I had decided to tell my main dentist as I felt that the main people involved in my HIV with me are the people who will assist me in preventing OI's etc, namely my doctor, dentist and HIV specialist. Everyone will ahve personal reasons for informing or not. However, I feel that anyone that can assist ME, by eing informed SHOULD be informed especially if it will benefit me.



I think my dentist was the first one to suspect I was HIV+. I was having a problem with my gums (severe gingivitis) just after my summer of infection. He asked me if I had the Crohn disease or any other immune condition, but never pointed out HIV. He gave me an antibiotic. I had to repeat the treatment 3 times until my gums recovered. Now my gums and teeth look very nice. I have never had any cavities, tooth extractions or anything. I have all my teeth intact!


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

[*] Previous page

Go to full version