Wearing Masks and Dental Health

4 Surprising Conditions and Ways to Avoid and Treat Them

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Wearing masks can cause dental health issues and other problems from the neck up, and you’ve probably heard about them. 

An increase in “maskne” or sores on the face under the mask, dry lips, bad breath, and more. 

Learn about what we recommend to fight these problems, without getting rid of the mask.

How Wearing a Mask can Lead to Dental Health Problems

Wearing a mask has gone beyond concern for our own health, it is now mandated in schools, businesses, and even when interacting with others outside. 

No matter your feelings on the efficacy of mask-wearing, it’s become essential if you want to leave your home!  

At Total Care Dental and Wellness, masks have been a part of what we wear daily for as long as we’ve been in operation, so this is nothing new for us. 

We wear masks to ensure safety and health for you and our team.  

While this is the norm for us, it is something new for most of you. 

Here are some tips to help you stay healthy and help make that mask-wearing a little easier:

  1. “Maskne” and Facial Dermatoses – this is the new term that has been coined for the skin irritation and sores that can occur under masks. This can be from:
  • rubbing of the mask against your skin
  • buildup of heat and moisture under the mask
  • bacteria collecting on the inside of the mask – from infection in your mouth! 

What do you do about it?

 

  1. “Mask Mouth” If it seems like your breath has gotten worse, or you are getting more gum disease or cavities, it might be from wearing that mask. Masks often lead to us mouth breathing because we are getting less air through our noses and mouths. This can lead to:
  • dry mouth 
  • bad breath
  • cavities 
  • gum disease.

What do you do about it?

  • Make sure to moisten your mouth with xylitol containing products if you find you have a dry mouth.
  • Try to breathe through your nose as much as possible.
  • Drink water frequently throughout the day to keep your mouth moist
  • Visit us at Total Care Dental and Wellness to learn about protective products that can be applied daily to prevent bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease. 
  1. Candida Overgrowth– If you are getting sores around your mouth, on your tongue, or in your throat, they can be candida or yeast overgrowth. Yeast loves a moist environment, and the buildup of moisture in your mask can lead to yeast flourishing. Other things that can make it worse:
  • Eating a lot of sugar and processed yeast foods (bread)
  • Dry mouth
  • Antibiotics
  • Poor-fitting dentures or another prosthesis
  • Inhaled asthma medicines

 

What do you do about it?

  • Stay away from processed sugars and yeast foods as much as possible
  • Use a salt-water rinse to clean the mouth at night
  • Can rinse and swallow a nanosilver liquid daily
  • Use a tongue scraper every night to keep candida off the tongue
  • Keep the corners of the mouth moistened with a plain lip moisturizer (nothing with a sweetener in it)
  • Make sure you don’t have gum disease by visiting Total Care Dental and Wellness

 

  1. Cold Sores – Cold sores are caused by a virus that people are often infected with in their early years.  This virus stays in the nerves until there is an irritation.  Some examples of irritation might be:
  • Stress 
  • Sunburn
  • Excessive rubbing from a mask 

 

What do you do about it?

  • Make sure to get a mask that doesn’t rub on your lips.  Have one that allows room for breathing without rubbing.  The “duck-bill shaped” ones are the best for this.  Double layered fabric masks are more prone to getting sucked back into the mouth and running.
  • You can ask us at Total Care Dental and Wellness for prescription anti-viral medicines.
  • You can also have treatments from our Lightwalker laser to speed up healing and lessen pain during the duration of the cold sore.

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At Total Care Dental and Wellness, we are very interested in helping you with all aspects of your health and would love to speak to you about the problems you are having from mask-wearing. 

We want everyone to stay healthy through this health and world crisis, and we are here to help!

To health!

Dr.  Michelle Jorgensen

 

Adapted from: https://www.eatthis.com/doctor-warning-face-masks-side-effects/

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