Halitosis, dry mouth, stained teeth are some oral disorders that some people attribute to the use of the mask: however, there is no scientific evidence that demonstrates its relationship with the appearance of these oral diseases and therefore, in the current pandemic situation, the Consejo General de Dentistas Spanish recommends that the population continue to wear it.
In the mouth live millions of bacteria belonging to about 300 different families. The lack of oxygen could upset the balance, called symbiosis, and cause an imbalance (dysbiosis) in which some more pathogenic oral bacteria can develop and predominate. However, it is highly unlikely that this situation of lack of oxygen will occur under normal conditions of use of the masks.
In this regard, Óscar Castro Reino, president of the Consejo General de Dentistas, assures that the use of the mask and the alleged lack of oxygen are not the causes of bad breath: “By wearing the mask, a part of the air we exhale remains long in contact with our olfactory system. For this reason, some people think they have developed this problem now, but in reality it was already present previously only that they had never detected it ”.
It should also be remembered that masks deteriorate with use; surgical ones, for example, should be eliminated after 4 or 6 hours because otherwise they will accumulate saliva, losing their effectiveness and increasing the bad smell.
The importance of hygiene and maintaining healthy habits
The fact of wearing a mask and therefore not showing the mouth should not lead to abandoning good oral hygiene habits. Proper brushing must be performed at least twice a day with fluorinated toothpaste, associated with the use of dental floss. “We must remember” continues Óscar Castro Reino “that the oral mucosa is one of the entry routes of the coronavirus. Maintaining a healthy mouth is therefore essential ”.
In addition, now more than ever it is essential that the toothbrush after use is cleaned, rinsed and dried, protected with the toothbrush cover, never shared and stored separately from other toilet accessories. At the end of this procedure, wash your hands well.
It is also necessary to maintain healthy eating habits, reduce the consumption of sugary products and avoid alcohol and tobacco.
Finally, President Castro recommends contacting your dentist for any oral cavity ailments in order to address the problem as soon as possible: “Most oral diseases need simple treatment if diagnosed early”.