Where There Is No Dentist 2012 195
6. Dry or painful mouth and throat
Many people with AIDS have difficulty eating near the end of their lives
because of a dry or painful mouth and throat. But it is important to eat
nutritious food during a sickness, even a serious sickness like AIDS. The
person will feel much more comfortable and have less pain and infection
if he or she can eat well.
A dry mouth can be caused by an infected swelling in the glands of the
mouth that usually make spit (saliva). This is most common for people
taking ARVs (anti-retroviral medicines). A painful mouth can be caused
by other infections and problems that come with HIV and AIDS.
For information about how to treat an infection of the spit gland, see
page 119. For help with eating if the mouth is very dry or sore, try the
• Eat soft foods in small pieces that are easy to chew and swallow.
• Cook foods until they are soft and tender.
• Mix foods with liquids to make them easier to swallow.
• Keep a small bottle of drinking water with you all the time.
• Use a straw to drink fluids.
• Do not eat hot or spicy foods. They can irritate
a sore mouth and throat.
• If it is difficult to swallow, tilt the head back a
little, or move it forward.
• Rinse the mouth with clean water often. This
will remove food and germs, and help with