The coronavirus is leaving a bad taste in the mouths of people in more ways than one.
First, people started griping about “maskne,” those breakouts of blemishes and whiteheads that occur after wearing a face mask for a long time.
But some dentists are reporting a spike in patients seeking relief from bad breath caused by a condition that has been dubbed “mask mouth.”
Dr Rob Raimondi, a periodontist in New York, tells “Inside Edition” that “mask mouth” is linked to poor oral health.
“We’re seeing a lot of people with more inflammation, more cavities and gum disease,” he said.
Another New York periodontist, Dr Marc Sclafani, said “mask mouth” could partially be blamed on breathing through the mouth while wearing the mask in order to get more air.
“We all have normal bacteria in their mouth, which acts with our saliva, which bathes our teeth,” Sclafini told “Inside Edition.” “So with the lack of saliva, more of this gooey plaque is sticking to the teeth, causing the bad breath.”
Dr. Blake Billups, a dentist in Memphis, Tennessee, told WREG-TV that it’s still up in the air whether there are long-term consequences to “mask mouth,” but the risks are there.
“Anytime we have a drier mouth, we have a higher chance of getting tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease because the mouth is drier,” he said.
He recommends drinking water to disrupt the bad breath bacteria.