Monkeypox and the Role of Oral Health Providers in the Virus's Detection and Prevention

Published 10/06/2022

Approximately 70% of monkeypox cases involve sores in the mouth, which may appear before symptoms on other areas of the body. This finding means that oral health providers are often the first health care professionals that can detect signs of the virus in their patients, according to a new report from CareQuest Institute.

Oral health professionals, research suggests, can also play a key role in reducing the spread of this virus. Key points from the report include: 

  • Individuals with monkeypox may also experience a sore throat, swollen tonsils, and difficulty swallowing.
  • Most adults are comfortable receiving health screenings from their oral health providers. Screening for the oral lesions associated with monkeypox is similar to other oral examinations done in a dental office and is likely to be similarly acceptable to dental patients. 
  • Oral health providers could play an important role in educating patients about the two monkeypox vaccines and providing appropriate referrals. 

In short, oral health providers are in an ideal position to screen for, detect, and educate patients about monkeypox and, in turn, help reduce the spread of this virus.

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