If You Notice This in Your Mouth, You Could Have COVID, Experts Warn

These are some of the subtler symptoms of coronavirus you might be missing.

Your body can tell you a lot about your health—especially when it comes to the coronavirus, which can affect many different parts of your body. COVID can cause symptoms in your eyes, your feet, your hands, and even your mouth. Believe it or not, observing your mouth could help you discover that you have been infected with the virus. According to experts, if you notice any of these four symptoms in your mouth, you may have COVID. Keep reading to learn more about the tell-tale signs, for more symptoms to be aware of, If This Part of Your Body Hurts, You Could Have COVID.

A white tongue

Young woman is looking on her tongue in the mirror

A change in tongue appearance is one of the newest mouth-related symptoms being reported. Tim Spector, PhD, an epidemiologist and principal investigator for the ZOE COVID Symptom Study app, tweeted out a picture of a patient with a white tongue that resembles a condition called geographic tongue. Spector indicated that this "COVID tongue" may be one of the "less common symptoms" patients experience that don't get included on official public health lists.

According to the Mayo Clinic, geographic tongue is an inflammatory condition, which may indicate its relationship to the coronavirus. An Aug. 2020 study published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases said that when cells with ACE2 receptors become infected with the virus, that can cause inflammatory reactions in related organs and tissues, such as the tongue. And for more common coronavirus symptoms, discover The "Strongest, Most Consistent" Sign You Have COVID, Study Says.

Rashes and ulcers

close up middle aged man feeling hurt from toothache symptom , unhealthy life concept

Skin rashes have been heavily documented as a coronavirus symptom, but you may also experience a mouth rash. According to WebMD, a Spanish study published in the journal JAMA Dermatology was the first to identify this symptom, called enanthem, which presents as rashes or ulcers in the mouth. In the study, enanthem usually appeared anywhere from two days before the onset of other coronavirus symptoms to 24 days after.

Michele Green, MD, a dermatologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, told WebMD that enanthem is not a surprising symptom for the coronavirus, given how it arises in other infections. "It is very common in patients with viral infections like chickenpox and hand, foot and mouth disease. It is characteristic of many viral rashes to affect mucous membranes," she explained. And for more coronavirus news, Dr. Fauci Just Issued This Stern Warning About the U.K. COVID Strain.

Metallic taste

Woman can't taste ice cream

A Dec. 2020 study published in the Neurology Clinical Practice found that 62.4 percent of coronavirus cases had symptoms of dysgeusia, which is a distortion of the sense of taste. And while many people know that loss of taste is a coronavirus symptom, they may not realize it could first appear as a metallic taste in their mouth. Robert Korn, MD, an emergency medicine physician in New York, told Refinery29 that a metallic taste in your mouth could possibly just be "an altered taste on the way to losing the sensation completely." And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.


Lips skin care. Woman applying lip balm looking in mirror at bathroom. Portrait of beautiful african girl model with beauty face and natural makeup applying lip product with finger

A Sept. 2020 study in the Ear, Nose & Throat Journal concluded that dry mouth, otherwise known as xerostomia, should be considered a symptom of the coronavirus. Researchers noted that various studies had determined that salivary glands had the highest existence of ACE2 receptors in the cells—and those receptors are what allows the virus to enter someone's body. Given that reduced or absent saliva flow can be caused by viral-induced infections and inflammation, the researchers concluded that dry mouth could result from a COVID infection. And to learn how to better protect yourself from the virus, Doing This to Your Mask Could Keep You Even Safer From COVID, Experts Say.

Best Life is constantly monitoring the latest news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed. Here are the answers to your most burning questions, the ways you can stay safe and healthy, the facts you need to know, the risks you should avoid, the myths you need to ignore,and the symptoms to be aware of. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.
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