SARS-CoV-2 infection and oral health: Therapeutic opportunities and challenges

Christopher J. Coke, Brandon Davison, Niariah Fields, Jared Fletcher, Joseph Rollings, Leilani Roberson, Kishore B. Challagundla, Chethan Sampath, James Cade, Cherae Farmer-Dixon, Pandu R. Gangula

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The novel corona virus, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), and the disease it causes, COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease-2019) have had multi-faceted effects on a number of lives on a global scale both directly and indirectly. A growing body of evidence suggest that COVID-19 patients experience several oral health problems such as dry mouth, mucosal blistering, mouth rash, lip necrosis, and loss of taste and smell. Periodontal disease (PD), a severe inflammatory gum disease, may worsen the symptoms associated with COVID-19. Routine dental and periodontal treatment may help decrease the symptoms of COVID-19. PD is more prevalent among patients experiencing metabolic diseases such as obesity, diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular risk. Studies have shown that these patients are highly susceptible for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Pro-inflammatory cytokines and oxidative stress known to contribute to the development of PD and other metabolic diseases are highly elevated among COVID-19 patients. Periodontal health may help to determine the severity of COVID-19 infection. Accumulating evidence shows that African-Americans (AAs) and vulnerable populations are disproportionately susceptible to PD, metabolic diseases and COVID-19 compared to other ethnicities in the United States. Dentistry and dental healthcare professionals are particularly susceptible to this virus due to the transferability via the oral cavity and the use of aerosol creating instruments that are ubiquitous in this field. In this review, we attempt to provide a comprehensive and updated source of information about SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 and the various effects it has had on the dental profession and patients visits to dental clinics. Finally, this review is a valuable resource for the management of oral hygiene and reduction of the severity of infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number156
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE-2)
  • COVID-19
  • Dental practice
  • Inflammation
  • Oxidative stress
  • Periodontitis
  • Saliva

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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