covid symptoms Archives - Mantachie Rural Health Care, Inc.
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Could ‘COVID Tongue’ Be Latest Unexpected Symptom of Virus?

Could ‘COVID Tongue’ Be Latest Unexpected Symptom of Virus?

Keeping track of all the possible symptoms of COVID-19 is a full-time job. One British scientist claims at least 20% of his patients experience less common symptoms that aren’t officially recognized by the CDC. And we all know at least one person who experienced no symptoms at all. A Spanish study recently found 10% of patients with COVID also had some type of oral health problems such as mouth sores or ulcers. The term “COVID tongue” has been used to describe this uncommon issue, but whether or not it’s actually associated with the virus is debatable.

First, the Known COVID Symptoms

Let’s talk about what we know. The most commonly recognized symptoms of COVID-19 typically show up 2-14 days after exposure and include: 

• Fever or chills

• Cough

• Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

• Fatigue

• Muscle or body aches

• Headache

• New loss of taste or smell

• Sore throat

•Congestion or runny nose

•Nausea or vomiting

•Diarrhea

While this isn’t an exhaustive list, most symptomatic patients experience at least one of these problems, which usually prompts them to be tested for the virus. 

COVID Tongue: Is It Real?

Doctors don’t argue that mouth sores or a swollen, discolored tongue may be part of your struggle in a COVID-19 infection, but whether it’s a symptom of the virus remains to be seen. Most doctors agree you won’t typically experience only oral symptoms. 

Some medical providers speculate that oral symptoms could be caused by steroids and other medications prescribed to combat the virus which may lead the way for a thrush infection. The tongue also has a lot of ACE2 receptors, which are targeted by the COVID-19 virus in the lungs. So it’s possible the virus could be present in the mouth as well. Another theory is that COVID-19 activates another virus like the herpes simplex virus which results in mouth ulcers.

On the other hand, oral symptoms could be the result of allergies, irritants, another infection or something you ate.

How to Protect Your Oral Health

Whether you have COVID-19 or not, caring for your oral health is never the wrong answer. Brushing and flossing regularly as well as eating healthy foods and drinking plenty of water helps keep your mouth healthy whether we’re in a pandemic or not. It may also protect your mouth and teeth from unwanted damage should you find yourself with a COVID infection. And, as a reminder, you can continue to protect your overall health by not socializing in large groups, wearing a mask, washing your hands frequently and remaining socially distanced.

If you’re experiencing oral health problems without any other symptoms of COVID-19, make an appointment with our dental clinic. Any new mouth sores should be treated by your dentist. If you’re experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, we can help you find the right diagnosis and create a treatment plan. Request an appointment online, or call our office at (662) 282-4226 . 


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