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What is Mask Mouth?

Mask Mouth is real!

What is Mask Mouth?

Now seasoned veterans in the fight against Covid-19, we're becoming more used to wearing masks, social distancing, keeping tabs on CDC recommendations, changing mandates, not to mention keeping an eye out for the newest variant of the virus.

However flexible or resilient we have become over the last couple of years, few of us have been able to accept the inevitable bad breath that can come from wearing masks for long periods of time. This bad breath, my friends, is called Mask Mouth.

What Causes Mask Mouth?

Bacteria - the number one culprit for bad breath in general, wearing masks for long periods of time can throw off bacteria levels in the mouth, causing bad breath

  • Poor Hygiene - with many people working from home, they may not brush and floss as often as they used to. This can cause bacteria (plaque) to build up and harden into tartar
  • Skipping Dental Visits - many may have avoided the dentist out of concern or have just gotten out of the habit as so many offices were closed for a period of time; however, missing dental cleanings means that tartar continues to build, thus causing bad breath
  • Dry Mouth - when wearing masks for long periods of time, you may notice that you tend to drink quite a bit less water than when not wearing one; this means less fluid to wash away bacteria and less saliva to neutralize it
  • Foods - eating strong-smelling foods then putting on a mask allows the odors from the food to linger longer than usual
  • Dirty Masks - as masks are designed to stop viruses and bacteria from passing through the mask's barrier, bacteria can linger on the fabric of the mask

How to Prevent Mask Mouth

  • Brush for at least two minutes, twice a day, with a soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Floss daily
  • Brush your tongue
  • Avoid alcohol, drugs, and tobacco
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Reduce sugar and acid intake
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Chew sugar-free gum to increase saliva and decrease dry mouth
  • Regularly wash reusable face masks or replace disposable masks