For most of 2020, the new norm has required us to wear face masks. Since the start of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, the recommended preventative measure to stop the spread of the virus has been wearing face masks while maintaining social distancing. Today, face masks have evolved to be a new everyday essential. From paper disposable masks to high-quality fabric ones, face masks have taken on their identity. While wearing a mask is something everyone should do to help slow the spread of the virus, a major drawback people are finding while wearing a mask is “Mask Mouth.” Mask Mouth has become a widely popular term associated with the range of symptoms associated with wearing a face mask for a long period of time. While it is not an official condition, the symptoms that accompany Mask Mouth could be real underlying dental conditions.
If you find yourself having bad breath from wearing a face mask, below are a list of reasons as to why this could occur:
- Increased Dryness of Mouth
- Because your mouth is covered, wearing a mask may subconsciously hinder the consumption of water.
- Poor Dental Hygiene
- This may be an obvious reason, but just because your mouth is covered does not mean you can ease up on brushing your teeth.
- Eating Too Many Sweets or Sulfides-Rich Foods
- Common sweet treats and sulfide-rich foods like garlic go hand-in-hand with causing stinky breath.
- As we enter the winter months, we enter prime time for seasonal allergies. Postnasal drip is a major cause of bad breath.
- Dirty Face Mask
- You should regularly replace or wash your face mask. Continuously wearing a dirty mask increases the amount of bacteria on your face and ultimately entering your mouth, leading to bad breath.
Prevent Mask Mouth With These Techniques
- Brush Your Teeth TWICE a Day, TWO Minutes at a Time
- Trapped food particles can get lodged in your teeth and under your gums leading to bad breath and cavities. Brushing twice a day for two minutes a day will significantly lower your risk of cavities and bad breath!
- Use Mouthwash and Floss
- As with brushing your teeth, this should be an obvious preventative measure. Using mouthwash (especially with cetylpyridinium chloride or chlorhexidine) and flossing will help remove those food particles and kill bad bacteria causing bad breath.
- Drink Plenty of Water
- As stated above, wearing a mask may subconsciously hinder your daily water consumption. Making a conscious effort to drink plenty of water will keep your saliva flowing, decreasing dry mouth and bad breath.
- Stop Mouth Breathing
- Face masks in their proper placement should be worn covering your nose and mouth. Some masks have a tendency to fit snug around the nose which then subconsciously causes mouth breathing. By wearing a slightly looser mask around the nose and making note of your mouth breathing, Mask Mouth symptoms should decrease.
- Limit Sweets and Sulfides-Rich Foods Intake
- Treat Seasonal Allergies
- Stop Use of Tobacco Products
- Have an Emergency Breath Kit
- While this should not be a long-term method of preventing mask mouth, it is a way of preventing short-term symptoms. Have some mouthwash on hand or mints if you need a quick freshen up. But an emergency kit in combination with the above preventative measures, you should be able to get that Mask Mouth under control.
Still fighting bad breath? It may be time for a dental check-up.
If the above tips and tricks do not seem to help treat your bad breath, you may have an undiagnosed medical or dental condition. If bad breath still prevents, contact Galliano Family Dentistry. At Galiano Family Dentistry, we specialize in a number of dental procedures including:
- General Dentistry
- For cosmetic, preventative, and restorative dentistry.
- Dental Implants
- Safe Amalgam Removal
- Zoom Whitening
- And Temporomandibular (TMJ) Services
If you need help getting your dental health on track, Galliano Family Dentistry is here to help! Our team is trained and ready to assist in helping get your smile back on track. Call us for a consultation at (225) 296-0212.