The study, “Craniofacial pain in COVID‐19 patients with diabetes mellitus: Clinical and laboratory description of 21 cases,” published in the Journal of Medical Virology, finds that COVID-19 may lead to severe craniofacial pain in patients with diabetes. It came from a team of investigators in Egypt, the Czech Republic and Italy. 

Between April and August 2020, the study found that 21 patients out of the 5,730 patients with diabetes and COVID-19 who sought outpatient care were searching for relief from craniofacial pain. Most of these patients were in relatively good health before their infections and 76% had their diabetes under control.

The patients’ COVID-19 cases were not severe with most having mild cases and a couple with moderate cases. While their COVID-19 symptoms were not bad, the key feature of their clinical presentation was unique. Twelve of the patients had pain in the masseter and temporalis regions. And for 10 patients, the pain was bilateral. The remaining 11 patients had pain focused on one side or the other. 

More research is needed, but the authors of the study determined that the link between COVID-19 and craniofacial pain should not be ignored.