Oral Graft-Versus-Host Disease: A Pictorial Review and a Guide for Dental Practitioners

Sharon Elad*, Omar Aljitawi, Yehuda Zadik

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Introduction: Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a complication of haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). GVHD may also develop following solid transplants or blood transfusions if white blood cells are transferred. GVHD affects multiple organs, including the oral tissues. Objective: This pictorial review provides a background of GVHD to dental practitioners, describes the most common oral manifestations of GVHD and highlights the main treatment modifications needed to deliver dental care to patients with GVHD. Methods: A narrative review enhanced with clinical photographs. Results: Acute GVHD may manifest in the oral mucosa; however, it often develops immediately following HSCT when routine dental treatment is postponed. Chronic GVHD may manifest in the oral mucosa, the salivary glands and the musculoskeletal compartment. It may indirectly affect the teeth and the oral flora, putting the patient at risk for infections. Importantly, GVHD poses an increased risk for oral cancer. Conclusion: GVHD has a wide range of oral manifestations, some of which may affect dental treatment.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)9-20
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Dental Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021


  • Dry mouth
  • Graft-versus-host disease
  • Haematopoietic stem cell transplantation
  • Mucosal
  • Oral
  • Oral cancer


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