Unraveling the Link between Periodontitis and Coronavirus Disease 2019: Exploring Pathogenic Pathways and Clinical Implications

En-Chin Lin, Yi-Chun Chiang, Hsuan-Yu Lin, Shao-Yu Tseng, Yu-Ting Hsieh, Jer-An Shieh, Yu-Hao Huang, Hsiang-Tai Tsai, Sheng-Wei Feng, Tzu-Yu Peng, I-Ta Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Periodontitis involves the inflammation of the periodontal tissue, leading to tissue loss, while coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a highly transmissible respiratory disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which is amplified by poor systemic health. Key facilitators of SARS-CoV-2’s entry into host cells are angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2). This review reveals that periodontal pockets can serve as a hotspot for virus accumulation, rendering surrounding epithelia more susceptible to infection. Given that ACE2 is expressed in oral mucosa, it is reasonable to suggest that poor periodontal health could increase the risk of COVID-19 infection. However, recent studies have not provided sufficient evidence to imply a significant effect of COVID-19 on periodontal health, necessitating further and more long-term investigations. Nevertheless, there are hypotheses linking the mechanisms of the two diseases, such as the involvement of interleukin-17 (IL-17). Elevated IL-17 levels are observed in both COVID-19 and periodontitis, leading to increased osteoclast activity and bone resorption. Lastly, bidirectional relationships between periodontitis and systemic diseases like diabetes are acknowledged. Given that COVID-19 symptoms may worsen with these conditions, maintaining good oral health and managing systemic diseases are suggested as potential ways to protect against COVID-19.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2789
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023


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