Covid Tongue

Is Your Swollen Tongue A Sign Of Covid-19?

One little-known side-effect of Covid-19 is a painful condition known as “Covid Tongue.” This term refers to a state of inflammation and swelling in the tongue. Bumps or ulcers are other common symptoms in patients experiencing this condition. Some patients may present with a white patchy tongue or redness and swelling. This condition notably impacts sufferers’ ability to taste food while living with Covid.

When a Swollen Tongue May Indicate COVID

Discovering your tongue is swollen doesn’t automatically mean you have Covid-19. Several conditions, including disease, can lead to a tongue becoming inflamed and swollen. However, it can’t hurt to take a Covid test if there is no discernable reason that your tongue should otherwise be experiencing symptoms.

Within our cells are enzymes called ACE receptors. SARS-CoV-2 targets these enzymes, making it possible for the virus to attack the cells. Once the virus has invaded the cell by attacking these receptors, it can multiply within the body and spread the illness. The tongue has many ACE receptors, making it a prime virus target. The inflammation, patchiness, and bumps result from the virus infesting the tongue.

Another common cause of inflammation in the tongue is a condition known as glossitis. It shares many symptoms with Covid Tongue, causing the tongue to become swollen and sore. However, this condition can occur due to other factors, including poor oral hygiene and allergies. 

Some other conditions that can cause the tongue to become swollen and sore include:

  • Mouth injuries
  • Hormonal fluctuations
  • Oral skin conditions
  • Vitamin deficiencies 

Due to the numerous reasons that your tongue may become swollen, it’s essential to check with your medical professional to diagnose the source correctly.

Covid has many symptoms, but according to the CDC, these are the more problematic symptoms you should look out for: 

  • Chills accompanying a high fever
  • Exhaustion and fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Body aches
  • Sore throat
  • Nasal congestion
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea 

The bottom line is that you don’t want to ignore bumps or inflammation of your tongue—but don’t panic if you develop one of these symptoms, either.


Presently, no treatments explicitly target Covid Tongue, but some options may help. These approaches treat the inflammation and swelling in the tongue rather than the viral load itself.

  • Keep up a solid oral hygiene routine
  • Narrow down potential allergy triggers
  • Maintain a steady course of prescribed antibiotics
  • Consider supplementing your diet with vitamins

It’s likely that successfully treating Covid will also lead to the elimination of Covid Tongue symptoms. Throughout the illness, be sure that you’re taking cold medication, getting sufficient rest, and hydrating regularly.

Contact Your Physician If You Suspect Covid

If you’re experiencing swelling and inflammation of the tongue accompanied by typical symptoms associated with Covid, get tested immediately. While the underlying cause may not be a Covid infection, eliminating this possibility will help narrow down the source. By eliminating potential causes, you and your doctor can quickly find an appropriate treatment plan to bring you effective relief. Stay ahead of Covid by calling and scheduling an appointment with your physician today!

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Dr. Trang Nguyen Conroe Family Doctor provides singular medical care for patients in Montgomery, Harris, and Walker Counties under the leadership of Dr. Trang Nguyen. As a Board Certified Family Medicine physician who graduated from the University of Oklahoma, she brings expert care to local families.