Round Lake Beach 847-546-5550 2 E Rollins Rd, Suite 202, Round Lake Beach, IL 60073

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Wearing a Mask and Dental Hygiene

What is “Mask Mouth?”

As our patients return to our offices, we are seeing some inflammation affecting the gums of people who never had any issues before now. In fact, about 50% of our patients are being affected by this new affliction which dental professionals have begun to dub “mask mouth.”
Wearing a mask all the time to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 is leading to all sorts of dental problems including receding gums, decaying teeth, and seriously nasty breath. Because gum disease, or periodontal disease, leads to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, it’s something that shouldn’t be ignored.

How Does Wearing a Mask Affect my Dental Health?

Because we tend to breathe through our mouth while wearing a mask, our mouths become dry, leading to a decrease in saliva. Saliva is what cleanses your teeth, fights bad bacteria, and neutralizes acid – helping to prevent gum disease and tooth decay. We also tend to drink less water while wearing a mask and are often drinking more alcohol and caffeine while stuck at home – both contributing to chronic dehydration and dry-mouth.
While not wearing a mask isn’t really an option right now, there are things you can do to mitigate the potential for “mask mouth.” First, drink more water to stay properly hydrated, cut down on caffeine, and if you don’t already own one, get yourself a humidifier. You should also use an alcohol-free mouthwash, scrape your tongue, if you’re a smoker, quit smoking, and make sure to keep up your regular oral hygiene routine.

Lax Dental Hygiene

Working from home can make it seem like it’s less important to brush your teeth or use mouthwash first thing in the morning. It’s easy to fall into bad habits and skip routine oral hygiene practices when it doesn’t seem to matter. However, even if no one sees your smile, and you are working from home taking Zoom meetings in your PJs, your teeth and gums will suffer if you become lax about taking care of them.

Visit Your Dentist in Round Lake Beach, IL

If you’re noticing that your breath is worse than usual, or your gums are bleeding when you brush, give us a call and make an appointment with your dentist in Round Lake Beach, IL. Early detection of gum disease is important to prevent serious complications. Call today!

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