Oral manifestations of long COVID and the views of healthcare professionals

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Abstract

Introduction: Oral manifestations have been observed with this condition; however, little is known about their impact on the healthcare professionals routinely managing these patients.

Aims: To investigate the prevalence of the oral manifestations of long COVID and the healthcare professionals' views, experiences and practices for managing these conditions.

Materials and methods: A cross-sectional mixed-methods study, including a self-reported online questionnaire (n = 104) and healthcare professionals' (n = 7) semi-structured interviews, was conducted. Descriptive statistics and reflexive thematic analysis were used to analyse the data.

Results: In total, 78% of respondents reported one or more oral conditions associated with COVID-19. Changes in the sense of taste and/or smell (58%), dry mouth (48.1%) and mouth sores (45.7%) were frequently reported. Themes identified from healthcare professionals' interviews were areas for research, management and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Discussion: Allied healthcare professionals may assist dental professionals with managing oral manifestations of long COVID. Inadequate access to NHS dentistry is deterring patients worried about their oral symptoms and the limited oral knowledge of healthcare professionals affects their ability to manage patients.

Conclusion: Healthcare professionals have observed oral manifestations in individuals diagnosed with long COVID; however, further information and training on this topic would assist them with managing patients and increasing awareness among clinicians.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-116
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Dental Journal
Volume236
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2024

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