Oral manifestations of Covid-19-A literature review

Document Type

Review Article


Dental-oral, Maxillo-facial Surgery


Initially, it was reported that coronavirus 2019 disease (Covid-19) affects respiratory, gastrointestinal and neurological systems, but the oral, olfactory and integumentary systems are also involved. This review discusses various oral manifestations of Covid-19 reported in the literature along with possible underlying mechanisms. The reported manifestations include taste impairment, oral mucosal changes (petechiae, ulcers, plaque-like lesions, reactivation of herpes simplex virus 1(HSV1), geographical tongue and desquamative gingivitis) and dry mouth. The prominent location for mucosal lesions are tongue, palate and labial mucosa. The exact pathogenesis of these oral symptoms is not known. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) cell receptors are expressed in abundance on oral mucosa allowing severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) to infect them. Gustatory impairment along with olfactory changes is now listed as a symptom of Covid-19 by the World Health Organization, but further research is needed to confirm a link between reported additional oral symptoms and Covid-19. Dental professionals may encounter individuals with Covid-19 and be called upon to identify various oral manifestations of this disease.


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Reviews in Medical Virology