A patient with malaria may develop a range of oral changes. Some are primary to malaria while others occur due to its complications or common lifestyle changes.

Patient selection: malaria


Oral Manifestation

Underlying Cause

gingival bleeding

thrombocytopenia, poor oral hygiene



oral ulcer

secondary to Herpes infection

abnormal black pigmentation (hard palate, tongue, buccal mucosa)

malaria-related pigment; anti-malarial

pericoronitis or periodontitis

altered immune function, poor oral hygiene

Herpes virus infection (labialis, gingivostomatitis)

altered immune function

bitter taste


sore throat

secondary to Herpes infection

Burkitt lymphoma of jaw

combination of malaria and infection with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)

alveolar bone resorption

poor oral hygiene

enamel hypoplasia


pallor to tongue and buccal mucosa


dental trauma or trauma to tongue

convulsions in cerebral malaria


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