The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a tremendous effect on our lives. 2020 was the year we learned about phrases such as “social distancing”, “zoom meetings”, and “lockdown”. The word of the year was even pandemic! As we continue to practice safety protocols such as social distancing and wear face masks while around others, there is a new term making its way around: mask mouth. Mask mouth is a term that is often misinterpreted as mask hurts our teeth. While wearing a mask is important during this pandemic, but so is taking care of our oral health. There are a few causes to “mask mouth” that have had an overall effect on our oral health since the pandemic had started.
When lockdown occurred, companies began to allow their employees to work from home. Due to isolation and the disruption to our daily lives, people have tended to pick up some bad habitats, the first one being neglect to dental health. When stressed or overwhelmed, some address this by eating or drinking more sweets and not properly maintain oral health such as brushing and flossing. Most people also have delayed their dental hygiene visits. Both these actions can lead to serious dental issues.
Another dental issue caused by masks is dry mouth. People tend to breathe heavily through their mouths when wearing a mask. As a result, the normal saliva that helps neutralize acid in our mouth decreases. Dry mouth can lead to increased bacteria, tooth decay and gum disease. Dental Tip: While wearing your mask, breathe through your nose, this helps the mouth remain moist!
Follow these dental tips to protect your teeth!
- Wash cloth masks and throw away disposable masks. Bacteria can grow on mask.
- While wearing your mask, breathe through your mouth as much as possible
- Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water
- Continue to brush your teeth twice a day and floss
- Limit caffeine intake
- If there are any changes to your oral health (sore gums, bleeding gums) contact your dental professional
- Continue to schedule dental checkups!