BAD BREATH AND DRY MOUTH FROM THE USE OF PROTECTIVE MASK
The use of Protective Mask
From the beginning of the pandemic, what doctors and epidemiologists advise us, is that the use of a protective mask protects us and is crucial in the treatment of the virus. Therefore, for over a year now, the protective mask has been a necessary accessory that accompanies us for many hours during the day, during working hours since it is a necessity to help and keep those around us safe.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the masks have become a controversial touchpoint of the pandemic, something that we would never imagined. In fact, the high demand and lack of them. At that point, the ingenuity of the people hit red with improvised masks, decorated with different colors, different fabrics but also printed logos of companies or even printed phrases and favourite opinions.
Proposals with many materials for their creation emerged, such as rubber bands, braces, all kinds of ropes. All these consumables were tested and suggested on social media and through various videos on the internet for the composition of the coveted protective mask.
The protective mask is now the new reality. Except that prolonged use of the mask has some consequences. It seems to aggravate pre-existing skin conditions, such as acne or rosacea, but also causes mask-related dry eye (especially to people who wear glasses). The most common finding in patients, however, is bad breath and dry mouth.
Bad breath and dry mouth
Bad breath is the result of many factors. It may have existed before but now with the masks in our daily lives and the many hours of their use, has made us to realize it even better.
What causes bad breath?
The unpleasant sensation that follows us even after brushing is a consequence of reduced saliva production, poor dental hygiene, dry mouth and the consumption of foods rich in sugar and acids.
In each of the cases mentioned, the pathogenic microbes multiply at a dizzying rate, causing bad breath. With the brushing of the teeth but also the intake of water, the network of germs is disorganized. Our saliva helps in this with special properties that it has and can fight the pathogenic organisms that cause caries and various problems in the mouth.
During the night when saliva production is reduced, the dry mouth is what causes the bad breath we all have in the morning. In fact, those who breath from the mouth, the problem of dry mouth is even more serious and therefore their bad breath. That's why the dentist should advise the patient and explain to him/her how important and irreplaceable the evening brushing is, since teeth and gums are more exposed to germs.
How does the problem with the mask get worse?
Having said all that, one realizes that water consumption has been minimized during our work by being covered with protective masks.
It has also been found that mouth breathing is intensified by the use of the mask, which leads to reduced salivation. The dry mouth caused by these mechanisms makes it difficult to swallow, speak and puts us at increased risk for caries.
Also, the breathing rate with the mask is faster and is not done correctly but with incorrect short breaths.
Carbon dioxide is trapped and recycled more than normal as we breathe through the mask which, while not toxic to the body according to Aerosol and Air Quality Research, nevertheless increases oral microbial acidity which may lead to a greater risk for infections or inflammations (eg of the gums).
This is why there is now a term in the dental community 'mouth mask' which is exactly the bad breath associated with mask use.
Ways to deal with bad breath
Intake of sufficient amount of water - Stay hydrated:
Drink enough water, a good 6 to 8 glasses of water on a daily basis to avoid dry mouth. If you are taking medication that causes dry mouth, you can always consult your dentist, who may recommend an over-the-counter saliva replacement.
Limit sugar or particularly acidic foods from your diet: With the pandemic in our lives many people are anxious and stressed which is perfectly understandable. Unfortunately, due to the inclusion, a change in our diet has been observed with more food intake but not so high quality diet. Excessive consumption of sugar and caffeine that can damage your enamel and contribute to bad breath.
This is because the germs in our mouths like and are fed by sugars or acidic foods, leaving a strong odour. Removing or even reducing these foods from your daily diet and brushing your teeth (at least twenty minutes after eating them) can help significantly. A sugar-free mastic increases saliva and can in turn rinse tooth surfaces after food intake. Avoiding foods such as garlic, soft drinks, onions, cheeses can also help treat bad breath.
Keep your masks clean so that extra germs do not grow on them. Wash at 60 degrees and iron the fabric and discard the disposable medicine. Masks should be washed after each use.
Tobacco products are harmful to your health for a variety of reasons, both for bad breath and because they cause other serio
us problems such as oral cancer, gum damage, yellowing of teeth.
It is recommended to stop or reduce smoking.
If you notice that your gums are bleeding and swollen it is a sign that you have a gum disease. The mask can alter the type and number of pathogenic germs to create an even bigger problem in the affected area.
To avoid the formation of plaque and stone, apply good oral hygiene. This translates to proper brushing twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste (1450ppmf) and flossing once a day.
Consult your dentist for the use of a mouthwash that does not aggravate dry mouth (without alcohol) but fights it. It also helps a lot to rub the tongue with special scrapers that will be prescribed by your dentist.
If you follow what is recommended, bad breath will go away faster than you think. If you notice that bad breath does not seem to go away with proper oral hygiene you should contact your dentist immediately.
Regarding the use of the mask, all medical studies conclude that it is our necessary means of protection and it is recommended to always be worn in gatherings but also according to the Center for Disease Prevention and Prevention (CDC) indoors. It is the shield that will repel the droplets from a person traveling in the air and will protect us from covid-19 disease. So, even if it causes some side effects, the answer is not to lose this protection measure. On the contrary, if we know what it can bring, the answer is the prevention of unpleasant situations and the relief from symptoms that may have been caused and are bothering us.
Our Dental Clinic Constantina Papamina in Pafos offers daily consultations on the matter of bad breath. If you are facing a similar problem and you don’t know how to overcome it is advisable you should contact us for a more thorough check up to prevent any unnecessary consequences in the future.
For further information or for a FREE consultation:
Telephone: (357) 26955200