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Overcoming Dental Problems That May Be Caused By Wearing a Mask


Overcoming Dental Problems That May Be Caused By Wearing a Mask
Posted on August 15, 2022

Over the past couple of years, people have become really divided on many of the measures that were implemented to mitigate the pandemic and help prevent the spread of COVID-19. One measure that caused controversy early on was that of mask mandates. And while many of the arguments about the “dangers” of mask-wearing have been debunked, one that appears to have some truth is that of mask mouth. 

What is mask mouth? 

Several months into the pandemic, dentists started noticing an increase in tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. This was eventually attributed to the fact that people were wearing masks for a good portion of their day. 

Now, it is not the masks themselves that were causing gum disease – but they were a contributing factor. It was found that when people wear masks, it changes how they breathe – causing them to breathe more through their mouths. 

This habit, in turn, caused dry mouth, which reduced how much saliva they had in their mouths. Saliva is essential to dental health because it helps to combat the bacteria that cause tooth decay and periodontal disease. 

Is mask mouth harmful? 

Dry mouth is more of an annoyance than anything else, but it can become dangerous when it leads to tooth decay and periodontal disease. Periodontal disease can increase the chances of a heart attack or stroke, so it should be treated as early as possible. 

Can I prevent mask mouth (and still wear a mask)?

We realize that many people may not be ready to give up mask-wearing just yet – especially if they are medically vulnerable or live with someone who is. The good news is that even for regular mask-wearers, you don’t have to suffer from the effects of mask mouth. 

Oral hygiene

Brushing and flossing between meals have always been important, but for those who wear masks on a regular basis, it is even more critical. Since your mouth may be drier wearing a mask, it is important to remove sugars and bacteria from your mouth through brushing and flossing – so it doesn’t have the chance to accumulate and cause problems. 

Dental checkups

Regular dental checkups help ensure that you can catch and treat dental issues before they become more serious. For most people, it is recommended they have a checkup with their dentist every six to nine months. But if you are more prone to dental problems, seeing your dentist more often may be advised. If you feel mask mouth may be a problem for you, have a conversation with your dentist to see if your current appointment schedule suits your needs. 

Contact Creekview Dental today

If you have any concerns about your dental health or if you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists, give us a call today

 

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