Oral care is more essential than ever. While wearing face coverings that are to protect us from diseases and are recommended by the CDC, dentists are seeing a rise in gum disease from “mask mouth.”

Mask Mouth refers to a range of symptoms associated with wearing a face mask. The main symptom being bad breath, or halitosis. While bad breath may seem annoying and temporary, it’s a sign that something isn’t quite right. It’s important to pay attention to any warning signs or symptoms of mask mouth and take action to prevent it!

Let’s look into some helpful, preventative measures for mask mouth.

The truth behind mask mouth:

Symptoms of Mask Mouth

Bad Breath: 

One of the most common signs of mask mouth is bad breath. If you’re breathing through your mouth while wearing a mask, you’re drying out your mouth and causing bad breath. This can also cause dry lips.

Dry Mouth:

Saliva is such a great tool that our body already produces to help keep the germs out of our mouth, so when our mouth becomes dry and we lose saliva production, we build bad-breath bacteria in the mouth.

Less saliva in the mouth also means we are more prone to tooth decay and infections.  When we are wearing our mask often and experience dry mouth, we’re advancing or progressing tooth decay.

Bad breath is often a sign that something isn’t quite right. When we wear our masks, we may breathe through our mouths more and dry out our mouths. While this may not seem like an issue, when we dry out our mouths, we leave them more susceptible to bacteria growth. When bacteria grow in our mouth, we can experience things like cavities and gum disease. Saliva is a huge multitasker in our mouths and it constantly keeps bacteria at bay. When we lose saliva production, we lose our biggest bacteria fighter.

The new oral hygiene issue — caused by, you guessed it, wearing a mask all the time to prevent the spread of the coronavirus — is leading to all kinds of dental disasters like decaying teeth, receding gum lines and seriously sour breath. Learn More about the stinky side effects of Mask Mouth HERE.

Bleeding Gums:

Another symptom of mask mouth is bleeding or swollen gums. This also comes from an excess of bacteria and plaque in the mouth.

Learn More about how to care for your gums and how to avoid gum disease HERE.

Toothaches, cavities, and other various dental problems can seem to be isolated to just your mouth, but the truth is, your oral health is directly tied to your body’s overall health. Related Article: Dental Awareness: Is My Overall Health Really Tied to My Oral Health?

Fighting Mask Mouth

  • Stay hydrated. Drink water throughout the day and try to avoid alcohol, coffee, and sugary drinks, which can cause dehydration and buildup of bacteria.
  • Use a clean mask. Replace your mask often and clean between wearing.
  • Take fresh air breaks. Try and take a few breaks throughout the day and breath fresh air through your nose.
  • Freshen up often and focus on your oral health routine. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day. Make sure you’re brushing your teeth correctly and try keeping mouthwash on hand to fight bad breath and bacteria in-between your brushings. Chewing sugar-free gum can also help with this.
  • Watch your diet: Certain foods can definitely make our breath stink, so when wearing a mask it’s extra important to think about what you’re consuming. Try to avoid coffee, garlic, and onions and try swishing with water after eating.

Docs and Dentists warn of “Mask Mouth” trend … watch the video HERE.

Poor dental hygiene can lead to problems that are more severe than the average cavity or case of bad breath. Gum disease is most commonly the result of poor dental hygiene and is the inflammation of the tissue around the teeth. Read More HERE.

Dr. Stephan Caye and his friendly, experienced team at Premier Dental offer affordable family dentistry and gentle dental care in the Lee’s Summit, MO area. Our office is conveniently located off of Highway 50 and SE Blue Parkway. We offer appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At Premier Dental, we provide most dental health services, from family and general dentistry to specialty procedures, including dental implants, dentures, endodontic or root canal treatment, teeth whitening, cosmetic dentistry, emergency dental care and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Please call us at (816) 600-6330 to schedule an appointment.