Author(s): Machado FC, de Souza IP, Portela MB, de Arajo Soares RM, FreitasFernandes LB
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate chlorhexidine to control gingivitis and Candida species (spp.) in children infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and their acceptance of the therapy. METHODS: Twenty-six HIV+ children were selected, and oral exam-established biofilm, gingival indexes, and stimulated saliva were collected for Candida ssp. identification. The children brushed their teeth for 21 days with chlorhexidine gel (0.2%). Salivary samples, biofilm, and gingival indexes were collected after 21-days and again 35 days after ceasing gel use. The children answered a questionnaire about the therapy. RESULTS: All children tested positive for Candida and gingivitis. After 21 days, Candida counts and gingivitis decreased in 25 and 26 children, respectively. Mean reduction was approximately 68% for Candida spp. and 74% for gingivitis. Thirty-five days after discontinuing gel use, gingivitis and Candida spp. increased in 13 and 16 patients, respectively. Considering the Candida spp., the heavy growth was lower in the first re-evaluation. Candida albicans was the most frequent species. Approximately 85% did not experience inconvenience with the gel, and approximately 48% thought it was good for tooth-brushing. CONCLUSION: Chlorhexidine therapy may be an option to treat and pre- vent gingivitis and reduce yeast counts in children infected with HIV.