How to Prevent Mask Mouth

Masks have played an instrumental role in limiting the spread of disease during the ongoing pandemic. However, wearing a mask for long periods of time can have side effects on your oral health. Since wearing a mask is an important part of protecting yourself and others, we here at Castle Family Dentistry want to provide you with tips to prevent mask mouth

What is Mask Mouth?

Mask mouth is a variety of side effects that can be caused by wearing a mask for an extended period of time. Mask mouth could include dry mouth, tooth decay, bad breath, and even gum disease. Mask mouth can be caused by:

  • Breathing Patterns. A study by PNMedical has shown that wearing a mask can cause more rapid, shallow breaths using your mouth. Breathing through your mouth can decrease the amount of saliva. This reduction in saliva can be bad for your oral health, as saliva plays an important role in things like defending your teeth from cavities.
  • Dehydration. Most people wearing a mask drink less water than usual. Dehydration can cause dry mouth, which increases the chance of having bad breath and tooth decay
  • Recycling air. When wearing a mask, more carbon dioxide gets trapped in your mouth than usual. While this increase in carbon dioxide does not have an effect on your body, it can increase the acidity of your oral microbiome. This can cause an increased risk for infections or conditions like gum disease.

If you suspect that you have mask mouth, some symptoms to keep an eye out for include:

  • Dry Mouth
  • Bad Breath
  • Bleeding Gums

While the severity of symptoms varies from person to person, these are the most common symptoms to look for.

How to Prevent Mask Mouth

Even if you are experiencing symptoms of mask mouth, it is important to keep wearing your mask. Wearing your mask can protect all of us in the Washington, NJ community. Follow these tips to help fight mask mouth.

  • Brush and floss your teeth. Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing your teeth once a day should be the foundation of your oral care routine. Ensuring that you are taking good care of your teeth is the first step in fighting mask mouth.
  • Use mouthwash. Using a mouthwash between cleanings can freshen your breath and fight bacteria. Chewing sugar-free gum can also help remedy bad breath and remove food debris from the mouth.
  • Stay hydrated. Drinking water throughout the day can keep dry mouth at bay.
  • Use a clean mask. Regularly cleaning or replacing your mask prevents bacterial growth.

Mask mouth can cause issues with your oral health but with proper oral care, it can be prevented. If you suspect that you may be suffering from mask mouth, call our Washington, NJ office at 908-689-0911. We’ll be more than happy to discuss your options and get you the treatment you need.

Castle Family Dentistry

413 NJ-57
PO Box 272
Washington, NJ 07882
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Monday: 11am-7pm
Tuesday: 8am-5:00pm
Wednesday: 10am-7pm
Thursday: 9am-3pm
Friday: 8am-5:00pm