‘Mask mouth’: Dentists coin new term for smelly side effect of wearing a mask
“We’re seeing inflammation in people’s gums that have been healthy forever, and cavities in people who have never had them before,” says Dr. Rob Ramondi, a dentist and co-founder of One Manhattan Dental. “About 50% of our patients are being impacted by this, [so] we decided to name it ‘mask mouth’ — after ‘meth mouth.’ ” …
While mask mouth isn’t quite as obvious, if left untreated, the results could be equally harmful.
“Gum disease — or periodontal disease — will eventually lead to strokes and an increased risk of heart attacks,” says Dr. Marc Sclafani, another co-founder of One Manhattan Dental.
He says the stinky syndrome is triggered by face coverings since wearing a mask increases the dryness of the mouth — and a buildup of bad bacteria.
“People tend to breathe through their mouth instead of through their nose while wearing a mask,” says Sclafani. “The mouth breathing is causing the dry mouth, which leads to a decrease in saliva — and saliva is what fights the bacteria and cleanses your teeth.” …
People’s tendency to drink less water while masked up, as well as consume more coffee and alcohol during lockdown, have also added to the widespread dehydration he’s seeing.