TOMS RIVER, NJ – They’re calling it “Mask Mouth”, a new trend being seen by dentists who are once again seeing patients since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. One prominent New York City dentist is now saying prolonged wearing of face masks to protect yourself from COVID-19 infection could also be rotting your gums and teeth.
“We’re seeing inflammation in people’s gums that have been healthy forever, and cavities in people who have never had them before,” said Dr. Rob Ramondi, a co-owner and dentist at One Manhattan Dental. “About 50% of our patients are being impacted by this, we decided to name it ‘mask mouth’, after ‘meth mouth.’ ”
Ramondi said mask mouth can lead to gum disease, even strokes and heart attacks.
“People tend to breathe through their mouth instead of through their nose while wearing a mask,” said his partner Dr. Marc 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.”
The dentists say while wearing masks, people tend to drink less water and have been consuming more coffee and alcohol during the lockdown, both of which increase the damage of mask mouth.
They say you can mitigate your exposure to mask mouth by drinking more water, cutting out coffee and alcohol and using a dehumidifier in your bedroom at night.