Impact of xerostomia on oral health and quality of life among adults infected with HIV-1

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The study investigated the impact of xerostomia on oral health and quality of life (QoL) among patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) who were attending for routine HIV monitoring in Australia. This cross-sectional, self-administered questionnaire survey and oral screening (OS) included 100 subjects who were HIV positive. The OS was conducted by a dentist blinded to the subject's survey responses. Xerostomia was determined by asking the subjects a single question. Subjects with xerostomia were found to have increased caries activity and poorer QoL, especially in the psychological dimensions of the oral health impact profile. Age and duration of HIV infection were associated with xerostomia. Early diagnosis of xerostomia and intervention with preventive dental care would potentially reduce caries and improve QoL among patients infected with HIV-1. Ongoing chronic inflammation of salivary glands despite the beneficial effects of antiretroviral therapy may play a role in the etiology of xerostomia in patients infected with HIV and requires further study.

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