Covid tongue might be a new addition to the growing list of weird symptoms of coronavirus. One British researcher has been working for months to track the warning signs of COVID-19. Recently, he found an increase in the number of people who complain of having a discolored tongue. People also complain about tongue enlargement, among other mouth conditions.
What is COVID Tongue?
A genetic epidemiology professor at King’s College in London took to Twitter to share a post about this. He said that there is an increasing number of mouth ulcers happening to people infected with the coronavirus. The syndrome is being addressed as COVID tongue.
The professor believes that more than one-third of 35% of people infected with coronavirus have non-classic symptoms within the first three days. Thus, one must not ignore conditions like skin rashes, mouth ulcers, COVID toes, and other warning signs.
Although Spector said that around 1 or a smaller number of people in a group of 500 infected with coronavirus could have COVID tongue, it is not absolutely unnatural. The main sign is experiencing a furry coating of one’s tongue. It looks either yellow or white in color, but one cannot brush it away. The scalloped is feels painful too. Spector also stresses the fact that there are different manifestations than the classical ones.
Spector is currently leading the investigation of the ZOE COVID Symptom Study. It is a platform that helps infected coronavirus patient report their symptoms with the help of an app. The answer to why people experience different coronavirus symptoms is unknown. Thus, the COVID tongue condition will not come under the official list of symptoms until more information.
Oral surgeons, dentists, or doctors looking inside one’s mouth needs to be aware of these signs. They can protect themselves and report about such a condition.
More research on COVID tongue
More researchers apart from Spector have reported mouth symptoms when infected with a new variant of coronavirus. In Spain, doctors conducted a study on 666 patients. More than 1/10th or 78 of them found oral cavity related issues due to coronavirus.
Out of the group, around 11% had inflammation due to small bumps on the surface of the tongue, 6% swollen tongue and indentations on one side, 6% had reported mouth ulcers, 4% reported having patching area on the tongue, while 4% faced tissue swelling in their mouth. The authors stated that the oral cavity needs specific examination and under proper circumstances to prevent the risk of spread.
Losing taste and sore throat are the only two mouth issues that appear under the list of coronavirus symptoms by CDC till now. However, they acknowledge the recent developments of new COVID strains. But their webpage does not include such warnings as yet.
COVID-19 patients reported one symptom that represents fizzing or having a tingling feeling. But, will COVID tongue replace the category?
Research is necessary to confirm the severity
Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease professor from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, states that the symptoms are in tune with other coronavirus symptoms. However, they are still learning and researching, and a lot of it seems vague.
The professor has not come across cases with tongue symptoms. But he discussed it after reports came out. According to him, our mouth might not be vulnerable to a new COVID variant, but the infection can set up immune circumstances like other viruses.
For example, herpes labialis is a condition above our waist, while herpes simplex virus type 1 is an infection of the mouth, lips, and gums. While these are not directly related to the main condition, they are underlying symptoms one can go through. Schaffner suggests that they need to go through a lot more research to confirm if tongue conditions associate with coronavirus.
Dr. Waleed Javaid, the director of infection prevention and control from the Mount Sinai Downtown, New York, said different people have different reactions to illnesses. However, COVID tongue cannot be a diagnostic tool, as very few people faced it.
American Dental Association states that they are tracking developments inside the mouths and tongues of coronavirus patients. They have been tracking from the beginning of the pandemic.
A study was published by the British Journal of Dermatology and was associated with ADA researchers, partners, and colleagues. It states that oral health is vital for overall health and ADA continues to examine connections of the same with COVID-19. However, American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery did not immediately respond to tongue and mouth connections with coronavirus infection.