A number of our patients have been attending our practices in recent months with a request for help. Pain relief, whitening, and a replacement crown - just the norm, right?
No, this is with something different... It's to help them with their ‘Mask Mouth’.
It's a term that was never heard of before the COVID-19 pandemic though is now becoming more prevalent. It’s a fact that we have all been wearing face masks more often than we have ever done and, in some incidents, have never done.
Most of us have accepted that wearing a mask is becoming the ‘new norm’, and will stay as part of our daily routine for the foreseeable future. What we hadn’t banked on is that smell! The smell that is being reflected back into our nostrils behind those layers of cloth.
But it doesn’t need to be that way.
That odour that you are now exposed to is not normal and might be easily solved. It may simply be adjusting your oral health routine, monitoring your diet and/or considering eliminating those things that really are causing that ‘stink’.
'Mask Mouth' is REAL… it’s not all in your imagination though without the mask, you may never have been aware of it.
So, if you have signs and symptoms of ‘Mask Mouth’ such as a bad odour, unusual dryness, bleeding gums, or worse still, loose teeth, here are 5 simple steps that you can adopt that will help eliminate your concerns.
Book an appointment to see your Dentist for a comprehensive examination. This will include a thorough examination of your teeth and gums. Dental disease such as decay and gum disease that leads to bleeding gums and spaces that can trap food will lead to bad odours. If caught early by your dentist, the disease-causing odours may be eliminated and further progression of disease may be avoided.
Understanding that certain foods also can impact on a poorly smelling breath. Not only whilst you are eating them but after too as they sit in your stomach.
Foods to avoid you having to endure a ‘Mask Mouth’ experience include, curries, spicy foods and, of course, fibrous foods that may get trapped in between your teeth. Be cautious though as some underlying gut health issues also raise concerns and should be discussed with your GP.
It is common knowledge that smoking of all types leaves the breath with an undesirable odour and coupled with excessive consumption of alcohol has been shown in clinical research to be closely linked to the prevalence of gum disease which, as mentioned, can lead to 'Mask Mouth'.
As a rule, the most usual cause of ‘Mask Mouth’ is poor oral hygiene. So, remember to brush your teeth for 2 minutes twice a day. Floss in between your teeth once a day and have a “check check-up” with your dentist twice a year to thoroughly examine your teeth and gums for any signs of early disease.
Have your teeth cleaned at your dental practice twice a year in order to move any harden plaque deposits (Tartar). Tartar builds up on your teeth when soft, bacterial filled plaque harden. The bugs that sit inside the plaque are what cause gum disease and dental decay which in turn can be identified with a smell of decaying tissue.
To find out more about 'Mask Mouth' and how to best avoid it, consult with a dentist or oral hygienist at your nearby Maven Dental practice.