Epithelia are the layers of cells that form barriers between external milieu and underlying tissues and thus, are important components of most organs of the body. Epithelial layers of organs, such as the lung, are exposed to various challenges resulting in frequent injury. Epithelial wound healing represents an important process by which repair restores the physical barrier lost as a result of cell damage and apoptosis. The repair of epithelial layers consists of a series of ordered events including epithelial cell spreading, migration proliferation and, differentiation. Carbohydrates attached to cell surface proteins and lipids can modulate the function of structures that they are conjugated to and therefore, can affect cell behavior. Although the basic mechanisms of epithelial repair are not entirely understood, many studies suggest glycoconjugates attached to proteins on the cell surface of epithelial cells play important roles in many of these cellular processes. In the present review, the role of carbohydrates in epithelial repair of different organs, including the sources of epithelial injury and current models of epithelial repair will be discussed with a focus on our understanding of the airway epithelium. With a better understanding of carbohydrates and their role in epithelial repair, new therapeutic targets for diseases involving damage to the epithelium can be identified.