"The term 'mask mouth’ is being used to describe what is happening inside the mouth because of the increased time spent breathing through a face mask. Symptoms of mask mouth include bad breath, tooth decay, and gum inflammation. These signs of inflammation are happening to people who previously did not suffer from these issues. All of these can lead to internal health issues including heart disease, digestive disorders, and diabetes. While wearing the mask, instead of breathing through the nose, people begin breathing through their mouths which lacks humidity. This causes dry mouth, less saliva, and increases bacterial growth. Frequent and increased hydration is extremely important, as well as brushing your teeth twice a day with a clay-based toothpowder to detox the entire mouth. Skip mouthwash, gum and mints which will make the situation worse. I suggest the Dental Detox Kit by Primal Life Organics which as all of your essential mouth needs to prevent mask mouth.” Trina Felber, CEO Primal Life Organics, RN, BSN, MSN, CRNA
Life is back to “normal”… sort of. As kids head back to school and adults are working among others, face masks are the new normal.
Dentists are beginning to see patients who have previously never had gum disease and cavities show up with the beginning stages of gum disease and cavities. While wearing a mask is not a choice, there are things you can do to prevent or heal “mask mouth.” In this article, I will help you identify the early signs of mask-mouth and what to do to prevent it or heal the damage that might be starting inside your mouth, under your mask.
Unfortunately, masks are here to stay. At least for a while. Keep yourself and your family safe by wearing your mask, but be aware that wearing it also has health risks. Long-term health risks that I want to help you avoid. Dr. Chris Zaino and I talk about how to prevent mask mouth in the video below.
The long-term health risks of wearing a face mask for 2+ hours a day will not show up for some time… the immediate signs that your health is at risk are:
- bad breath (“mask mouth or “meth-mouth”)
- bleeding or sensitive gums
- sensitive teeth
- dry mouth
- “weird” taste in your mouth
- “off-tasting” food
Do not dismiss these as temporary. The long-term ramifications are severe: heart disease, heart attack, diabetes, stroke, preterm labor, infertility, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, dementia and Alzheimer’s, cancer, respiratory diseases, frequent sinus infections and increased susceptibility to colds and flu.
Wear your mask when you need to, however, there are some things you can do to prevent “mask mouth” and reduce your chances of long-term health complications.
What happens when you breathe through a face mask:
- Mouth breathing instead of nasal breathing- dry mouth, bacteria buildup, more acid which leads to bad breath, gum disease and cavities (teeth sensitivities).
- Dry mouth from lack of saliva
- Use of inner scalene and intercostal muscles to breath because of increased airway resistance from the thickness of the mask
- Increase in neck and back pain from posture changes related to #2
- Dehydration (drinking less and increased need for water-related to mouth breathing and accessory muscle use).
- Thicker, white coating of bacteria on the tongue.
- Use of more breath mints and gum to freshen breath.
Tips to prevent or heal Mask Mouth:
- Breath through your nose instead of your mouth
- Do not use gum or breath mints- even those with sugar substitutes will dry your mouth out and lead to worse dry mouth and bacteria/acid buildup
- Do not use alcohol-based mouthwash. This will lead to dry mouth, acid, and bacterial buildup
- Avoid dental products with sodium laurel sulfate, glycerin, triclosan, artificial sweeteners, artificial colors (will increase acid level inside the mouth),
- Avoid processed foods, sugar, soft drinks, coffee and candy. These will increase acid levels inside the mouth and increase bacteria.
- Stretch your neck and back 3 times a day (neck stretches side to side and front to back, cats/cows, downward dog, cobra, upper body stretches, forward fold)
- Take frequent “mask breaks”. Pull the mask away from your mouth or go outside and remove the mask completely for 1-2+ minutes.
- Increase the amount of water you drink each day by at least 16 ounces (2 cups)
- Avoid caffeine (coffee, black tea), fruit drinks (sugar), soft drinks and sports drinks made with sugar. These will dehydrate you and cause dry mouth
- Oral care: clay-based, alkaline toothpowder, toothpaste. Brush 2-3 times a day. Follow my Oral Wellness Protocol for the best results.
- Dental Detox- detox your mouth to keep the tissue clean, healthy, and free from damaging bacteria.
- Apply Gum Serum -to your gums after brushing and throughout the day. Use and oil-based serum to support moist gums and healthy bacteria instead of mints and gum.
- Use red and blue LED light treatments for your gums and teeth. Both red and blue light has been shown to reduce bacteria inside the mouth (which will prevent acid buildup), increase blood flow and reduce inflammation. Using a mouthpiece 10-15 minutes a day that has red and blue LED lights can help keep your mouth healthy, moist, and clean.
- Scrape your tongue with a copper tongue scraper morning and night to rid your tongue of the white, bacterial coating.
- Eat fresh, raw vegetables as much as possible. Not only are they alkaline and will prevent the buildup of bacteria, but they also exercise your jaw muscles and keep your bone healthy.
- Rinse your mouth with water after eating anything. This will reduce the acid level inside the mouth, keep your gums and mouth tissue moist and freshen your breath.
You only have one mouth. You are not stuck with what is going on inside your mouth right now. With the proper care, right products, and an Oral Wellness Protocol you can take your smile from hiding to shining in less than three weeks.
Eventually, the masks will be gone and your smile will be visible. When this day comes, the last thing you'll want is to have to hide your smile behind your hand because of "mask mouth" gums, teeth, and breath.
Primal Life Organics is dedicated to making the best quality products to keep your smile white, bright, and healthy!