Mask mouth: Dentists issue serious health warning
(NaturalHealth365) While the debate about wearing a mask continues to rage, these days, most places require them in public places. Whether you head to the grocery store, the doctor’s office, or a pharmacy, many areas, and businesses require you to wear a mask. However, one of the unforeseen issues that come with wearing a mask so much is one referred to as “mask mouth.”
In a recent report by the New York Post, dentists have issued a serious health warning to their patients and the country about the dangers of what they call mask mouth. It turns out that all those hours of wearing a mask may do severe damage to your oral health.
Dentists see the oral health side effects of mask mouth
For some time, dentists closed their doors, but now that dentists are seeing patients again, they’ve quickly started seeing something new among patients – new oral symptoms they’re calling “mask mouth.” While patients are wearing a mask with the hope to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, it’s resulting in dental disasters like bad breath, decaying teeth, receding gum lines, and even gum disease.
According to dentists, they see inflammation in the gums of patients who have long had healthy gums. Suddenly people who’ve had perfect oral health have cavities. Dentists report that around 50% of their patients are being affected by this risky habit, and if left untreated, it has the potential for long-term oral health risks.
What’s causing this problem? Dentists say that face coverings increase dry mouth problems, as well as a buildup of bacteria. When people wear a mask, they often breathe through the mouth, which dries out the mouth by decreasing saliva.
Saliva is essential for fighting bacteria and cleaning the teeth, and it neutralizes acid within the mouth to prevent gum disease and tooth decay.
If you’re wearing a mask all day, you’re also less likely to drink enough water through the day, which dries out the mouth further. And more people are consuming alcohol and coffee during lockdown, which also leads to dehydration.
Others may be slacking on their oral hygiene since they’re spending so much time wearing a mask or so much time at home.
The potential for long-term health risks of mask mouth
Beyond the cavities and gum recession dentists see now, they’re warning patients about the long-term health risks of covering your mouth for hours and hours. This dangerous habit can lead to gum disease, and gum disease can eventually result in an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
While you can’t go most places without wearing a face covering these days, mask wearers can take some precautions to reduce the oral health risks of mask mouth. Take time to drink more water, reduce your caffeine intake, and skip the alcohol.
Using a humidifier, scraping the tongue, going with alcohol-free mouthwash, and stopping smoking can all help, too. And try to breathe through your nose instead of your mouth when wearing a mask.
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