DOES USING FACEMASKS CAUSE DENTAL PROBLEMS?

CHANGE IS THE ONLY CONSTANT IN LIFE. The coronavirus pandemic has led to many lifestyle changes in a very short period of time. The use of facemasks in public places has been made compulsory globally by all the governments and other authorities as a part of protective mechanism against Covid-19 pandemic. While the scientists and researchers across the world are working on their toes to find a vaccine against the deadly coronavirus, facemask with maintaining of at least 2 meters of social distancing has been proved to be a “crude vaccine” so far. The size of the coronavirus is approximately 0.1 micron, aerosols being of the size 0.3 microns and droplets even bigger. The researchers have shown that proper use of facemasks with proper covering of nose and mouth can reduce covid-19 transmission by 40% or even more. N95 masks have the ability to prevent at least 95% of the particulate material to pass through it. The respiratory droplets are being blocked by the facemask effectively.

          By now, we all are aware of the importance of using facemasks and have been wearing it for months. But, are you aware that wearing the facemasks have negative implications on your dental health. Hence, it become necessary for all of us to become aware of the conditions following use of facemask and the ways of handing them.

          It has been seen as people often forget drinking water when wearing a mask, hence forgot to hydrate themselves. And, dehydration is the root cause of many ill effects on health. Because of dehydration, people are experiencing a condition called as dry mouth or xerostomia. To learn more about dry mouth, please visit, https://www.oraheal.in/dry-mouth-explore-everything-about-it/

          Many studies have revealed that about 50% of the patients are now suffering from the trend “mask mouth”. People, who earlier used to have healthy teeth and gums are now seen suffering from new kind of dental problems. Further studies have shown that such dental problems are arising not because of the poor oral hygiene maintenance but it is because of the use of facemasks. As the prolonged use of facemasks leads to dryness of mouth, it paves the way for bacteria to grow in the mouth. Our saliva acts as a protective barrier in the mouth by washing off the food particles. Also, it has some antibacterial components that helps prevent the growth of bacteria. Saliva also helps in enhancing the immune system of mucosa and prevents direct entry of viruses in the body. The decrease of saliva in the mouth increases the problems manifold.

  1. Tooth decay: In the absence of proper flow of saliva, the bacteria starts to grow on the teeth and thrive in the presence of sugary or carbohydrate rich diet. The food particles are not flushed by the inappropriate amount of saliva and hence, cause tooth decay.
  2. Swollen gums: The more the bacteria in the mouth, the ore swollen are our gums. The reason here being is the antimicrobial component present in the saliva. The condition that starts with mild swelling and bleeding from the gums may grow into a more severe periodontal disease which may loosen the teeth.
  3. Bad breath: As the bacteria are present for a prolonged duration in a dry mouth, it may cause bad breath or halitosis. It is quiet common these days that people are experiencing bad breath while wearing facemask and many times it becomes intolerable to smell even your own smell. You can learn more about halitosis from https://www.oraheal.in/know-more-about-your-breath/
  4. Fungal infection: Candida is the most common fungal infection that may grow in your mouth while wearing facemask. It leads to a condition called as candidiasis.
  5. Altered taste sensation: The taste perception have seen to be altered in many patients when they have worn mask for a prolonged period of time.
  6. Cracked lips: In the presence of dry lips, the dry or cracked lips occur which are uncomfortable to live with.

In a pandemic condition, no one can take risks that make them or their family sick. As a dentist, I would recommend to maintain the oral hygiene as much as you can by brushing the teeth and using the mouthwashes regularly. Also, try to drink as much water as you can in short intervals of time and keep breathing through nose instead of your mouth. Apart from this, do visit your dentist regularly or whenever you find it necessary. Dental cleanings in a dental clinic, fillings or root canal treatments in decayed teeth, managing the gum disease or treatment of any white patch in the mouth is absolutely compulsory for all to have a healthy mouth and in turn a healthy body.

          Mouth is the entry point of your food and drinks into your body. A healthy mouth provides a ground for your healthy body. If the bacterial or viral load can be reduced in the mouth itself, it can prevent some deadly viral load in your lungs, heart or stomach.

          Our health is our asset and facemask is the new normal. We have to mold ourselves in the new normal and make a habit of wearing facemasks in all the public places while not ignoring our health. This is what the situation demands today. Always remember Every next level of your life will demand a different you. Get addicted to it.

 

 

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