Oral helminthic infestations

J Investig Clin Dent. 2015 May;6(2):99-107. doi: 10.1111/jicd.12077. Epub 2014 Feb 27.


Oral infections caused by helminths (worms) are rarely encountered in clinical practice, and consequently, there is a paucity of information in the medical and dental literature about these conditions. In the present article, we review the English literature related to oral helminthic infestations. The main oral infections caused by helminths include four roundworm (trichinosis, trichuriasis, filariasis, and larva migrans) and three tapeworm infections (cysticercosis, sparganosis, and echinococcosis). Cases are mainly encountered in endemic areas and mainly present a benign clinical picture. The diagnosis of oral helminthic infections is mostly established after histopathological examination, which shows parasitic larvae lined by fibrous tissue and inflammatory cells. Surgical excision is the preferred treatment of isolated oral lesions caused by helminths; however, patients should undergo thorough medical evaluation to exclude the possible involvement of other body systems.

Keywords: cestodes; helminthiasis; nematodes; oral; worms.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cestode Infections / diagnosis
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Endemic Diseases
  • Helminthiasis / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Mouth Diseases / parasitology*
  • Nematode Infections / diagnosis
  • Tongue Diseases / parasitology