Just when you think 2020 can’t get any worse, bam, it does.
A New York dentist now says wearing a face mask for hours can be harmful to your dental health by giving you “mask mouth.”
“We’re seeing inflammation in people’s gums that have been healthy forever, and cavities in people who have never had them before,” Dr. Rob Ramondi, co-founder of One Manhattan Dental, told the New York Post
“About 50% of our patients are being impacted by this, [so] we decided to name it ‘mask mouth’ — after ‘meth mouth.”
“The term ‘meth mouth’ is widely used by dentists to describe the dental problems that arise among methamphetamine users. Addicts often end up with cracked, black- and brown-stained teeth because the stimulant causes sugar cravings, teeth grinding and jaw clenching. They also often neglect their oral hygiene,” The Post wrote.
Constant mask wearing can lead to all kinds of mouth maladies, including cavities, decaying teeth, and dangerous halitosis.
Dr. Mark Sclafani, Ramondi’s business partner, said oral problems can sometimes lead to far worse conditions.
“Gum disease — or periodontal disease — will eventually lead to strokes and an increased risk of heart attacks. People tend to breathe through their mouth instead of through their nose while wearing a mask,” he said.
But Sclafani said that constant mask-wearing has prompted some people to visit the dentist.
“Patients are coming into us like, ‘Wow, my breath smells, I need a cleaning.’ [But] when you smell the bad breath, you either already have periodontal disease or you have a lot of bacteria that’s sitting on your tongue because of dry mouth,” he said.