The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that wearing a mask is important for stopping the spread of SARS-CoV-2. While wearing a mask helps to protect others, we have also learned that it might cause oral health complications. The daily long-term use of masks may cause some concerns for your dentist. 

But before we dive into this subject a little further, we need to be clear that what we are about to discuss does not outweigh the importance of continuing to wear a mask when in public. Here is what can happen when you wear a mask for a long time and don’t take proper care of your oral health. 

Mouth breathing

Many of us are not used to ever wearing a mask and now we have to wear them daily, sometimes for hours at a time. By doing this, our bodies must adjust to the new norm. One way to adjust has been by breathing out of our mouths instead of our noses. This type of breathing might feel more comfortable, but it can cause complications. 

Mouth breathing can quickly dry out saliva, which can cause our mouths to dry out and feel uncomfortable. But that isn’t the only thing that is concerning. With a lack of saliva, bad bacteria and acids will be left behind. This can increase the risk of decay and other problems. 

Bad breath and cavities

Bacteria and acid buildup often occur as a side effect of dry mouth. This can place your teeth at risk for decay and cavities. When dangerous acid is left behind and not neutralized by saliva, the acid can wear away the enamel. This can make it easy for bacteria to settle in and cause cavities. 

To add to that, bacteria will feed on anything left behind in the mouth. With that, even more acid can be produced. What’s even worse is that this bacteria will also lead to smelly byproducts that cause bad breath.

Contact us to learn more about these oral health complications and what to do to prevent further harm.