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  • Angela Murphy, RDH

Mask Mouth

Wearing a mask everywhere you go has become the new normal. However, wearing masks all day has also caused a new oral hygiene issue, which has been dubbed by oral health workers as "mask mouth".


What is mask mouth?

We all experience bad breath from time to time, but mask-wearing has made it more prevalent. Not only can it cause bad breath, but it is also leading to other dental issues like cavities, tooth decay, and inflamed gum tissue.

Even people with no history of any dental issues are facing the problem of inflammation and cavities.

Why does this happen?

Halitosis also referred to as bad breath, is usually the result of decreased saliva production in the mouth. Saliva is responsible for neutralizing acid in the mouth and prevents tooth decay and gum disease. When we wear a mask, our nose gets partially closed, so we tend to breathe from our mouth. This leads to a dry mouth. The amount of saliva decreases and bacteria rapidly builds up in the mouth, eventually leading to bad breath and cavities. Moreover, when we wear a mask, we tend to drink less water, leading to dehydration. Both of these issues cause oral problems. People who have to wear masks all day long are more prone to this oral condition as compared to those who wear masks for an hour or two. Besides, this condition is more likely to trouble those who already deal with oral issues.

How to get rid of this problem


There are a few things that you can do to get rid of the problem of bad breath.

  1. Stay hydrated: Keep drinking water all day long. This helps maintain the pH balance of your mouth and will prohibit the growth of bacteria.

  2. Food: Coffee, sugar, processed food can increase the risk of developing the symptoms of mask mouth. Include healthy food rich in fiber in your diet.

  3. Clean your mask: Clean your mask daily. Wearing a dirty mask not only increases the risk of developing oral issues but can also cause a sore throat.

  4. Maintain oral hygiene: Brush two times per day, clean daily between your teeth with your favorite cleaning aid and have your teeth cleaned professionally.

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