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If Your Mouth Has This, You Might Have COVID

COVID does produce certain telltale symptoms.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

Because COVID's symptoms are evolved to become so similar to allergies, the common cold, and the flu, recognizing that you've contracted the coronavirus isn't as straightforward as it may seem. But in many cases, COVID does produce certain telltale symptoms, such as these ones that involve the mouth. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Diminished Taste

Woman Feeling Nauseous

Early in the pandemic, a loss of taste or smell was considered a hallmark symptom of COVID-19. As the virus has evolved, smell or taste loss has become more rare, but it's still reported, say the scientists behind the COVID Symptom Study


"COVID Tongue"

open mouth of a woman, sticking her tongue out

Rashes and skin changes have been frequently reported since the pandemic's early days, and those can extend to the tongue. Some doctors have dubbed the phenomenon "COVID tongue," and it can involve tongue swelling, pain, mouth ulcers, a furry coating that can be white or yellow and can't be brushed away, or a scalloped (a.k.a "geographic") tongue. 


Dry Mouth

Woman with mirror

An exceedingly dry mouth has also been reported as a COVID symptom, according to doctors; in fact, it's the most common oral-related COVID sign. One study found that 43 percent of people who tested positive for COVID had a dry mouth.   


Oral Lesions

woman worry about her teeth and look in the mirror.

Oral lesions such as canker sores, fever blisters, and oral thrush have also been frequently reported. One study found that more than 20% of COVID patients had oral lesions of some kind. Canker sores and fever blisters tend to surface during times of immune stress; researchers also think the coronavirus may attack cells in the tongue directly. 


The Most Common Symptoms of COVID

Sick young woman lying in the bed covered with blanket

According to the CDC, the most common symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

How to Stay Safe Out There


Follow the fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Michael Martin
Michael Martin is a New York City-based writer and editor. Read more about Michael