The oral health of HIV-infected Brazilian children

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Abstract

Background.

The number of HIV-infected people has increased almost continuously. Paediatric dentists should be concerned about the oral findings in HIV-infected children and their aetiologic factors, to promote adequate treatment.

Aim.

To present the oral health aspects of Brazilian HIV-infected children and to verify the aetiological factors.

Design.

A cross-sectional study was conducted with HIV-infected children. During the medical appointments, children were submitted to visual-tactile exams of oral soft tissues and teeth. All parents answered questions in a structured interview. Data were analysed using the SPSS, release 10.0 (Chicago, IL, USA).

Results.

Of the 57 children examined, 39 (69.6%) presented one or more oral soft tissue manifestations. More than a half suffered from gingivitis and only 12.5% had no visible dental biofilm. A high prevalence of dental surfaces with active carious lesions was observed; mean DMFS-m and dmfs-m scores were 5.41 ± 5.61 and 16.77 ± 19.52, respectively. Caries activity and gingivitis were correlated with the presence of mature dental biofilm.

Conclusions.

Prevalence of soft tissue lesions, dental caries and gingivitis in HIV-infected children was high and correlated to lack of satisfactory oral hygiene habits, suggesting the need of therapeutic programmes that allow these children to recover their oral health.

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