Purposes: The aim of this sytematic review was to evaluate the potential association of COVID-19 infection with oral health.
Keywords: COVID-19, oral health, oral manifestation, periodontal diseases, SARS-CoV-2
Materials and Methods: Screening in different databases (PubMed/MEDLINE, Google Scholar, and Embase databases) was performed to identify relevant articles, focusing on the oral health of patients with COVID-19, and published up to November 2021. 5194 articles were identified, and 29 fulfilled the inclusion criteria.
Results: Patients presenting more severe periodontal or dental diseases were at an increased risk of developing COVID-19 complications and being admitted to intensive care units. According to the included articles, U-shaped lingual papillitis and aphthous-like ulcers on the tongue are the most frequent lesions assessed in the oral cavity of COVID-19 patients, while xerostomia seems to be an early COVID-19 diagnostic symptom. Apart from the presence of the virus, the global lockdown had a detrimental impact on oral health. The occurrence of dental emergencies was augmented during this time due to the postponement of numerous non-emergency dental procedures.
Conclusions: The presence of SARS-CoV-2 in periodontal tissues and salivary fractions may explain the presence of oral lesions during the infection. However, the virus’s direct or indirect effect on oral mucosa is unclear. It is important to consider that these manifestations might be attributed to underlying comorbidities, or co-existing or subsequent lesions produced by local irritants.