The prevalence of infections in the immunocompromised host is increasing. The oral cavity is a primary or sole site in many cases. It is important for the practicing clinician to recognize the more common infections in this growing patient population. Oral examinations are an essential component of all physical examinations, especially when immunosuppression is known or suspected. We recommend that all patients starting immunosuppressive therapy receive a comprehensive oral examination before the institution of such therapy to eliminate potential sources of oral and odontogenic infections. The examination should include full mouth dental radiographs and a complete soft-tissue examination. Timely, accurate diagnoses may have important implications with regard to management, prognosis, cost, morbidity, and mortality.
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