The risk of serious odontogenic infections in HIV-positive patients: A pilot study

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The purpose of this study was to perform a preliminary test of the hypothesis that patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) have an increased risk for serious odontogenic infections in comparison with HIV-negative patients.

Study design.

To address the research purpose, we used a case-control study design. A case was a serious odontogenic infection requiring inpatient management. A control was a nonserious odontogenic infection that could be managed on an outpatient basis. The ratio of controls to cases was 2:1. HIV status was determined by record review.


The sample was composed of 300 patients. Sixteen patients (5%) were HIV-positive. Overall, 37.5% of the HIV-positive patients had serious infections; this compared with 33% of the HIV-negative patients (odds ratio = 1.21; 95% confidence interval = 0.43-3.44; P = .79).


The results of this pilot study suggest that HIV-positive patients do not have an increased risk for developing serious odontogenic infections.

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