Oral Manifestations in Patients with COVID-19: A Living Systematic Review
Santos, J. Amorim dos et al.
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This living systematic review aims to summarize evidence on the prevalence of oral signs and symptoms in patients with COVID-19. The review was reported per the PRISMA checklist, and the literature search was conducted in 6 databases and in gray literature. Studies published in any language mentioning oral symptoms and signs in patients with COVID-19 were included. The risk of bias was assessed by the Joanna Briggs Institute appraisal tools. The certainty of evidence was evaluated through GRADE assessment. After a 2-step selection, 40 studies were included: 33 cross-sectional and 7 case reports. Overall, 10,228 patients (4,288 males, 5,770 females, and 170 unknown) from 19 countries were assessed. Gustatory impairment was the most common oral manifestation, with a prevalence of 45% (95% CI, 34% to 55%; I2 = 99%). The pooled eligible data for different taste disorders were 38% for dysgeusia and 35% for hypogeusia, while ageusia had a prevalence of 24%. Taste disorders were associated with COVID-19 (odds ratio [OR], 12.68; 95% CI, 6.41 to 25.10; I2 = 63%; P < 0.00001), mild/moderate severity (OR, 2.09; 95% CI, 1.25 to 3.49; I2 = 66%; P = 0.005), and female patients (OR, 1.64; 95% CI, 1.23 to 2.17; I2 = 70%; P = 0.0007). Oral mucosal lesions presented multiple clinical aspects, including white and erythematous plaques, irregular ulcers, small blisters, petechiae, and desquamative gingivitis. Tongue, palate, lips, gingiva, and buccal mucosa were affected. In mild cases, oral mucosal lesions developed before or at the same time as the initial respiratory symptoms; however, in those who required medication and hospitalization, the lesions developed approximately 7 to 24 d after onset symptoms. Therefore, taste disorders may be common symptoms in patients with COVID-19 and should be considered in the scope of the disease’s onset and progression. Oral mucosal lesions are more likely to present as coinfections and secondary manifestations with multiple clinical aspects (PROSPERO CRD42020184468).