Regular visits to the dentist are recommended for people with HIV. Not only will this ensure that your general dental health is being looked after, but it will also allow dentists to look for gum and mouth disorders, such as oral thrush and badly bleeding gums, which can occur more frequently in people with HIV.
Your HIV clinic might be able to help you find an NHS dentist, or a dentist that is particularly skilled or interested in treating people with HIV. Some of the large HIV clinics even have their own dental clinics.
Not all dentists offer NHS care, and in some parts of the UK there are long waiting lists to register with NHS dentists.
As with all healthcare workers, it’s a good idea to let dentists know if you have any serious medical conditions or are taking any medication. This will help them ensure that you receive the most appropriate treatment. It is both morally wrong and illegal for dentists or any other health professional to discriminate against you because of your health status, race, or sexuality.
There have been cases where people with HIV have been refused treatment by a dentist. Dentists in the UK have been told by their governing body that they cannot refuse to treat somebody just because they are HIV-positive. General hygiene precautions are enough to prevent the transmission of HIV during dental treatment.