Presence and prevalence of salivary gland ectasia and oral disease in COVID-19 survivors

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Alexandria, Va., USA — The clinical picture of COVID-19 in various target organs has been extensively studied and described, but relatively little is known about the characteristics of oral cavity involvement. The study “Frequent and Persistent Salivary Gland Ectasia and Oral Disease After COVID-19” published in the Journal of Dental Research (JDR), investigated the presence and prevalence of oral manifestations in COVID-19 survivors.

Researchers at the Università Vita Salute San Raffaele, Milan, Italy, profiled the oral involvement in 122 COVID-19 survivors, hospitalized and followed up at a single referral visit after a median 104 days from hospital discharge. The researchers found that oral manifestations, specifically salivary gland ectasia, were unexpectedly common being detectable in 83.9% and 43% of COVID-19 survivors, respectively. Salivary glands were defined as being ectasic when they appeared swollen, with a patent duct, and no pus leaking. Salivary gland ectasia reflected the hyperinflammatory response to SARS-CoV-2, as demonstrated by the significant relationship with C-reactive protein and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels at hospital admission, and with the use of antibiotics during acute disease. Both LDH levels and antibiotic administration survived as independent predictors of salivary gland ectasia in a multivariable analysis. Temporomandibular joint abnormalities, facial pain and masticatory muscle weakness were also common.

“This retrospective and prospective cohort study of COVID-19 survivors revealed that residual damage of the oral cavity persists in the vast majority of the more severely affected patients far beyond clinical recovery,” said JDR Editor-in-Chief Nicholas Jakubovics, Newcastle University, England. “This suggests that the oral cavity represents a preferential target for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Further studies are needed to clarify the connection between SARS-CoV-2 infection and oral disorders.”

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About the Journal of Dental Research

The IADR/AADR Journal of Dental Research (JDR) is a multidisciplinary journal dedicated to the dissemination of new knowledge in all sciences relevant to dentistry and the oral cavity and associated structures in health and disease. The JDR ranks #3 in Impact Factor of 91 journals, #2 without self-citations, as well as #2 of 91 in Article Influence with a score of 1.627. The JDR’s 5-year Impact Factor remained above 5 for the fifth year at 5.844 — ranking #2 of 91 journals. With over 20,000 citations, the JDR also boasts the most citations in the “Dentistry, Oral Surgery & Medicine” category, over 3,500 citations above the 2nd ranked journal in the field.

International Association for Dental Research

The International Association for Dental Research (IADR) is a nonprofit organization with over 10,000 individual members worldwide, with a Mission to drive dental, oral and craniofacial research to advance health and well-being worldwide. To learn more, visit http://www.iadr.org. The American Association for Dental Research (AADR) is the largest Division of IADR with 3,100 members in the United States. To learn more, visit http://www.iadr.org/aadr.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0022034521997112

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