What is”mask mouth”?
“Mask mouth” is a colloquial term for describing the side effect of daily and prolonged use of the mask on oral health, such as bad breath, halitosis. When our nose and mouth are covered we tend to breathe through the mouth and this decreases our saliva, increasing the dry mouth and leading to bad breath. Saliva is key to protecting our teeth and gums from bacteria in the mouth. Not only does it help prevent halitosis, it also neutralizes acidity and prevents cavities and gum disease.
It is also possible that bad breath was already present and now that we wear a mask and continually breathe the air we exhale it is perceived more easily. According to a report published by the Spanish Society of Periodontics and Osteointegration (SEPA), 30% of the adult population suffers from halitosis. Factors that favor it include:
- Accumulation of bacterial plaque in the tongue, oral cavity or, in some cases, in the stomach.
· Periodontal Problems
– Tooth decay
– Certain Medications
– Dry mouth
In 80-90% of cases the origin comes from the oral cavity itself, and although its origin may be diverse, it is mainly due to the accumulation of bacterial plaque in the tongue.
5 Tips for Getting Fresh Breath and Eliminating Bad Breath
Most of the time halitosis can be solved by following good habits and good oral hygiene. Here are 5 tips for getting a fresh breath.
1. Brush your teeth correctly (and don’t forget to clean your tongue)
Did you know that odor-causing bacteria are mainly located on the tongue? To eliminate bad breath it is important to maintain good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth after each meal and don’t forget to clean your tongue with your toothbrush or tongue scraper as well. Visit your dentist regularly, follow his advice and hava a professional cleaning once a year.
2. Floss daily
Don’t forget the interdental cleaning, either. Bacteria can stay between your teeth and regular brushing doesn’t reach these corners. Floss or interproximal brushes, depending on your preferences or needs.
3. Drink more water, reduce caffeine intake and avoid alcohol and tobacco
Did you know that drinking drinks like coffee or wine can’t just stain your teeth? They also promote dry mouth! Avoid consumption and drink more water. Now that we wear mask and have to take it off every time we want to drink water, you’ve probably reduced its consumption. Fill a bottle every morning, take it to work or leave it at your desk at home and try to keep up the habit of hydrating regularly.
Tobacco is also a major enemy of oral health and can worsen the bad smell of the mouth. Start the year by reducing this habit until you eliminate it. Not only will you be helping to take bad breath away, you’ll be improving your overall health!
4. Use mouthwashes and sprays to keep your breath fresh
There are daily colutoryes and carry on sprays that help neutralize odor-causing bacteria, providing fresh, long-lasting breath to help effectively control dry mouth.
For the prevention or treatment of halitosis, mouthwashes and sprays are generally two or three times more effective at combating halitosis than toothpaste under normal conditions of use.
5. Always clean the mask
Finally, beyond oral hygiene, you should also maintain proper hygiene with your mask. If you wear disposable masks, change it daily, if you use cloth masks, always have a clean mask handy. This will prevent bacteria from proliferating.