Coast Dental Blog

Fast Facts – SARS-CoV-2 And The Mouth

Fast Facts: Perio Edition Episode 29
[Andrew Johnston, RDH]
Welcome back,  everyone. You are listening to another episode of Fast Facts- Perio Edition brought to you by A Tale of Two Hygienists in partnership with DentistRX. And now, please welcome your host, Katrina Sanders.
[Katrina Sanders, RDH]
Hello and welcome to Fast Facts: Perio Edition, and here we go with another cutting edge facts, pun intended with your girl, Katrina Sanders. This week we’re talking about SARS-CoV-2 and the mouth. You guys, a new research study that came out of the National Institute of Health is now indicating that scientists are finding evidence that SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for causing COVID-19 has been found to infect the mouth’s cells.
So here’s the deal. The scientists within the NIH actually gathered samples of the cells, of the mouths of individuals who lost their life to SARS-CoV-2 of course, they found that SARS-CoV-2 was in the lungs or even potentially in the digestive system, but what they found was in a bulk majority of these individuals, SARS-CoV-2 was detected in the salivary tissue. Based on the data that came out of the laboratory, it was suspected that at least some of the virus in the saliva could be coming from infected tissues within the mouth itself.
And so, of course, we absolutely understand the RNA of SARS-CoV-2 provides that entry protein provides the opportunity for the virus to enter our own cells. Of course, we’ve been concerned about the nasal passages, the upper airway, but now we’re beginning to put some information together. Researchers are indicating and suggesting that the mouth via infected oral cells actually plays a bigger role in the subsequent infection of SARS-CoV-2 than previously thought. Specifically, one of the researchers said when infected saliva is swallowed or tiny particles of it are inhaled, they think it can potentially transmit SARS-CoV-2 further into the throats, lungs or even guts of individuals.
Of course, we begin to understand, and I love that the NIH even said this, that there’s a potentially underappreciated role within the oral cavity and how important is this now for us as dental professionals to truly understand that now more than ever, we’re beginning to unpack this evidence. One final piece that I wanted to add, the National Institute of Health also indicated that the virus itself can manifest in multiple areas of the body and it was very clearly indicated that oral symptoms can also be identified in our COVID-19 patients.
These could be things such as taste loss, dry mouth and blistering, as well as observations of enanthem on the posterior aspect of the soft palate. Now, more than ever, we’re continuing to understand the mouths involvement in potentially transmitting this virus, as well as the role that oral professionals can play in supporting our entities, in reducing the risk of transmitting COVID. Hope that you’ve enjoyed this week’s episode in which we looked at cutting edge facts around SARS-CoV-2 and the mouth. Have an awesome week, everybody.
This has been another episode of Fast Facts – Perio Edition with Katrina Sanders, RDH. Please feel free to reach me on Instagram @thedentalwinegenist or on my website Cheers.
[Andrew Johnston, RDH]
Thank you for listening to another episode of Fast Facts – Perio Edition, brought to you in part by DentistRX makers of the InteliSonic line of power brushes. Find out more by visiting their website at We’ll see you next week for another Fast Fact!

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