The Truth About Masks & Oral Health

The Truth About Masks & Oral Health

The COVID-19 pandemic has made an impact on many aspects of our daily lives, and that includes our oral health. Many people who have visited their dentists regularly their whole lives were unable to get their annual cleanings for the first time. Several dentist offices were limited to emergency procedures only for extended portions of time in 2020. This has led to an increase in oral health issues that is being recognized by the ADA.

"Mask mouth" may be a new term to you, but it is in fact a "thing." Wearing masks all day for people who work in mandatory mask environments can actually inadvertently discourage regular hydration. People get busy and forget to stay hydrated because it becomes to much trouble to unmask in a safe place and take a break to properly hydrate. This is causing some people to experience tooth decay. In addition to the normally accepted health benefits of proper hydration, regularly drinking fluids helps to move bacteria out of the mouth and through the digestive channel.

Stress is another factor related to COVID-19 oral health. Many dentists are seeing an uptick in patients complaining of jaw pain from tooth grinding and cracked teeth. Patients are reporting bad dreams and restless sleep, including the unintentional grinding of their teeth in their deep sleep. The good news is that most of these issues can be mitigated in a single visit to the dentist, even if you have missed more than a year of oral care.

It is well documented that oral health is directly linked to cardiovascular health. Proper dental care can reduce health risks such as gum and heart disease and risk of stroke. Call Dr. Frances Chauvin and her staff at Bendel Family Dentistry to custom tailor a plan that works for you and your family. We will give you a free benefits check. With dental insurance, most of our patients pay zero out of pocket on their first visit.