Beware of Mask Mouth Syndrome – The New Indian Express


Express Message Service

KOCHI: As a result of the spread of Covid, face masks have become a part of everyday life. Aside from the discomfort, prolonged use of masks brings with it a variety of problems ranging from bad breath to dry mouth to headaches. A little diligence on the part of the user can go a long way in eliminating these problems, experts say.
While face masks are the new normal in public places and when interacting with others, many who have to wear them eight to 10 hours a day complain of bad breath and dry mouth. These oral problems are now collectively known as “mask mouth syndrome,” and over 20 percent of the public is concerned with such problems, dentists say.

“In addition to the various problems associated with wearing masks, including earaches, headaches and breathing difficulties, dental problems are also becoming more common. While masks have become a part of our daily lives and we cannot avoid them, bad breath and dry mouth due to mask wearing can be avoided if the user takes appropriate measures,” said Dr. Manoj Chandy, dentist.

“Many patients, some of them my relatives and friends, who work with masks for more than eight hours have complained of bad breath and dry mouth. A recent study I did online found that 16 percent of people struggled with bad breath, while 22 percent suffered from dry mouth. 514 people answered the questionnaire. Had the number of participants been higher, the percentage might have been higher,” said Dr. Manikandan GR, Consultant Periodontist.

In general, people who breathe through their mouths and people with poor oral hygiene are likely to develop these problems. “Such people have a high probability of developing gingivitis and tooth decay. Breathing through the mouth can dry out the gums. With dry mouth, saliva is reduced, which allows bacteria to multiply and can cause oral problems,” said Dr. Manikandan. “When we wear masks, a small percentage of people involuntarily breathe through their mouths. This can lead to dental problems,” he added.

Workers in shops, private and public institutions, and even healthcare workers complain of oral problems. “Keeping yourself hydrated and incorporating high-fiber foods into your daily diet rather than processed foods is the best way to keep these problems at bay. People with breathing difficulties should also take a five-minute break and remove the mask once an hour. However, they should be careful to only do this on their own,” said Dr. Manoj.

KOCHI: As a result of the spread of Covid, face masks have become a part of everyday life. Aside from the discomfort, prolonged use of masks brings with it a variety of problems ranging from bad breath to dry mouth to headaches. A little diligence on the part of the user can go a long way in eliminating these problems, experts say. While face masks are the new normal in public places and when interacting with others, many who have to wear them eight to 10 hours a day complain of bad breath and dry mouth. These oral problems are now collectively known as “mask mouth syndrome,” and over 20 percent of the public is concerned with such problems, dentists say. “In addition to the various problems associated with wearing masks, including earaches, headaches and breathing difficulties, dental problems are also becoming more common. While masks have become a part of our daily lives and we cannot avoid them, bad breath and dry mouth due to mask wearing can be avoided if the user takes appropriate measures,” said Dr. Manoj Chandy, dentist. “Many patients, some of them my relatives and friends, who work with masks for more than eight hours have complained of bad breath and dry mouth. A recent study I did online found that 16 percent of people struggled with bad breath, while 22 percent suffered from dry mouth. 514 people answered the questionnaire. Had the number of participants been higher, the percentage might have been higher,” said Dr. Manikandan GR, Consultant Periodontist. In general, people who breathe through their mouths and people with poor oral hygiene are likely to develop these problems. “Such people have a high probability of developing gingivitis and tooth decay. Breathing through the mouth can dry out the gums. With dry mouth, saliva is reduced, which allows bacteria to multiply and can cause oral problems,” said Dr. Manikandan. “When we wear masks, a small percentage of people involuntarily breathe through their mouths. This can lead to dental problems,” he added. Workers in shops, private and public institutions, and even healthcare workers complain of oral problems. “Keeping yourself hydrated and incorporating high-fiber foods into your daily diet rather than processed foods is the best way to keep these problems at bay. People with breathing difficulties should also take a five-minute break and remove the mask once an hour. However, they should be careful to only do this on their own,” said Dr. Manoj.

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