Mask Mouth is real… Now that we are all wearing masks daily we as dental professionals are seeing an increase in mouth breathing, bleeding gums, and risk for cavities.
Here is my take on the subject. I have been wearing a mask for over 30 years, It wasn’t until I started wearing two masks when seeing patients. In June I started feeling very tired, had a dry mouth and a sore throat because of wearing a mask so much longer.
What is it about mask-wearing that made me feel this way and puts us all at greater risk for disease?
The biggest issue about wearing a mask is that it encourages you to breathe through your mouth. We are pinching the mask around our nose which in turn causes open mouth breathing. We stop using our nose, breathing through your mouth creates shallow breathing, lessens your saliva, which dries your mouth and gums causing bleeding gums, less saliva also leads to more tooth decay. Knocking our pH out of balance and less saliva creates the perfect breeding ground for bacteria to get into new places as well as the grooves, nooks, and crannies of our teeth, we then eat and feed the bacteria sugar. The sugar and bacteria create an acid that weakens the enamel and eats away the tooth!
Breathing more through our mouth leads to a loss of humidity which causes dry mouth and less saliva, saliva to help rinse off your teeth, kind of keep everything in balance.
The term mask mouth is the playoff of meth mouth, which is a common term referred to patients who have tooth decay from methamphetamine use now we are seeing more cavity from frequent mask-wearing. I am not saying to stop wearing them Doctors encourage continued use but see the key to avoid that bacteria buildup, one way is to constantly hydrate,
We are also now seeing more chewing gum and jaw issues due to people worried about Bad breath.
Dental professionals are reporting, seeing an increase in gum infections cavities, and other oral problems and the speculation was it perhaps had something to do with all of us wearing masks for much of the day. When you have a dry mouth, you have an increase of something called Candida albicans which is like a yeast type of infection that patients can get, they can get dry mouth, sore lips dry cracked lips.
There is also an increase in acne around the mouth due to more mask-wearing and not enough mask washing or getting a new mask.
If you are noticing more dry mouth carry water with you drink more throughout the day if your mouth is feeling a little bit dry. You want to immediately get some water and also Brush, brush, and floss regularly as you always do, but try to even add in a little extra maybe another flossing a week an extra brushing, a day.
Anything you can do to combat dental disease, it’s a condition right when you get that dry mouth it stands to reason that you would have increased cavities, bleeding gums, and yeast in your mouth and that can lead to a lot of trouble.
I’m telling you I don’t think I’ve ever felt so much dry mouth and I have worn a mask for over 30n years but not this tight and not all day not taking it off. I have brushed my teeth more than when I’m wearing a mask out of the3 office.
If you have a meal and then you don’t have an opportunity to brush and you have your mask on. It just doesn’t feel right I don’t like that feeling at all the mask is definitely kind of a new dynamic for our bodies.
I have seen the inside of some of my patient’s masks they have been wearing for a week that is covered with makeup. While we continuing to wear masks, keep in mind that you’ve got to pay a little extra attention to your teeth and gums.
Besides bad breath and bleeding gums, another serious issue on the rise is Mouth breathing. When you breathe through your mouth and not your nose you get 18% less oxygen.
My hope for you is that you are aware and are focusing on nose breathing under your mask, today and every day!
Once you are aware you are breathing through your mouth if you are having difficulty there are exercises you can do to retrain your brain. Awareness is key!
I started taping my mouth at night when I sleep to keep my mouth shut. It is hard to do it during the day when I am awake because I need to talk.
I am sleeping better and not getting up at night to pee anymore. Mouth breathing really messes things up. We are meant to breathe through our nose, it warms the air, acts as a filtration system, and gives us more oxygen. When we breathe through our nose we get 18% less oxygen to our brain. That is a big difference. When you breathe through your mouth you tend to get a stuffy nose and feel like you can not breathe through your nose.
There are exercises you can do to unstuff your nose and breath better.
Take your index finger and plug on the side, Breath through your nose then do the same thing on the other you should feel your nose unplug on the side that is open.
If you need help with exercises, if this is affecting you or your kiddos, contact me on the Facebook page or schedule a 15-minute free consultation at https://thehealthymouthmovment.as.me/
I thought I was only breathing through my mouth at night. I was wrong how you breathe during the day is how you breathe at night. Learn from my mistakes.
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