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Mask Mouth

While wearing a face mask is important part of our lives for well over a year now to minimise the risks of catching the lurgy, new oral health issues such as mask mouth have arisen from the extended time that many of us are required to wear a mask.

What is Mask Mouth
Appropriately 50% of the dental patients being seen today are experiencing signs of Mask Mouth. Patients that have had a history of healthy teeth and gums are now showing problems, but they are not due to poor dental hygiene. Instead they are a direct result of mask wearing.

Wearing a face mask increases the dryness in your mouth. This makes it a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and viruses to grow in. To control this normally your body would produce saliva to create a protective barrier. There are antimicrobial components present in your saliva to help fight the bacteria. Your saliva also plays an important part in preventing viruses from directly entering into your body.

What is the impact of using face masks on your oral health?

Increase of Tooth Decay
Wearing a face mask makes your mouth dry, the saliva you produce to flush food particles in our teeth is reduced. Sugar intake helps the bacteria to thrive which with the food particles not being removed by your saliva will result in tooth decay.

Inflamed Gums
When your body’s immune system recognises the increase in bacteria and viruses and creates inflammation of the gums. This is a sign that there are too much bacteria in your mouth attacking your gums. This can eventually result in periodontal disease.

Bad Breath or Halitosis
The prolonged dryness in your mouth is the perfect environment for odour-causing bacteria to grow. You may notice a change in the smell of your breath when you have worn a face mask for a long period of time.

Gum Disease
Gum Disease is an irreversible dental condition and will require care for the rest of your life. It slowly damages your gums and bone structure in your mouth. Most people do not see any symptoms until their gums begin to recede and become inflamed.

Minimise the risk
Keep hydrated and drinking water while wearing your mask can be a difficult and a reason you can forget to keep drinking fluids all day long.

The mask creates issues in some where they breathe through their mouths to improve inhalation capacity. Doing this increases dry mouth and which in turn leads to numerous dental conditions. It is recommended that you drink plenty of water and maintain good oral hygiene to reduce the risk of dry mouth and the dental problems that result from it.

It is important to continue to get your regular dental check ups.

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