Has wearing a facemask caused you to change the way you breathe? Unless you’re a professional painter or a doctor, you’re probably not used to wearing a facemask at all, let alone for extended periods of time. As a result, you’ve probably accidentally started breathing out of your mouth instead of your nose. Many people find that mouth breathing while wearing a mask is more comfortable, but your dentist in Charlottesville wants you to know that this type of breathing can have an unwanted, stinky side effect.
We promise to get into the stinky details of mouth breathing in a minute, but first, we need to say that the potential oral health side effects of facemasks do not outweigh their protective benefits. We are not suggesting you stop wearing a mask. We promise to give you some tips at the end of this blog to help you avoid the side effects we discuss. Please continue to wear a mask in public and maintain social distancing.
Ok, now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about mouth breathing and smelly breath. If you’re not normally a mouth breather, you may not quite realize the dry mouth feeling we’re referring to. Let us help. Think back to last time you had a stuffy nose and you had to breathe out of your mouth. Do you remember how dry your mouth was? How uncomfortable it felt? That’s dry mouth, and some people have it all of the time. It’s also what can happen if you breathe out of your mouth instead of your nose, with or without a facemask. It’s also what concerns your dentist in Charlottesville.
When we breathe using our mouths instead of our noses and we start to experience that dry mouth feeling, it’s because all of our saliva has dried up. In fact, dry mouth can even prevent more saliva from being produced. Why does this matter? Well, a healthy mouth needs a constant flow of saliva as it helps rinse away bacteria. Without saliva, these bacteria are left free to feed on food leftovers. When they’re done eating, they release a stinky byproduct. That’s what we smell when we get a whiff of bad breath. But as your dentist in Charlottesville knows, bad breath isn’t the only thing that can happen as a result of mouth breathing.
Dry Mouth & Cavities
Remember how we said we need saliva to help remove bad breath bacteria? Well, we also need saliva to neutralize acids in the mouth. If those acids are not neutralized, they can eat away at tooth enamel, weakening this protective barrier. This makes it easier for bacteria to wiggle in and cause cavities.
Preventing Dry Mouth
As we promised earlier, there are things you can do to prevent dry mouth. Now, the best way to keep dry mouth from happening is to dry your best to breathe in and out of your nose. But if you’re not comfortable doing that while wearing a mask, try some of the following tips.
It doesn’t appear as facemasks are going away any time soon. So while they’re here, make sure you protect your oral health by trying to consciously breathe out of your nose or try the tips above to help keep your mouth moist and stink-free. Of course, if you have questions about dry mouth, call your dentist in Charlottesville to schedule an appointment.
Dr. Kayton and all of his wonderful staff are friendly, professional, and competent. I’ve sent friends and family to them for years.
Great, pain-free dentistry, and a wonderful group of people! My teeth and gums are in better shape than they were when I was far younger, thanks to the great teamwork of Dr. Kayton and his outstanding dental technicians! Two thumbs up!
Excellent visit as always!
Dr. Kayton and his team took good care of me and did a great job. I have my beautiful smile back!
What a great experience. It’s always difficult to find a good dentist when you move to a new area. I look forward to my next visit.
Prompt, congenial, well organized, professional, and patient friendly.
Dr. Kayton and his staff are professional, friendly, and caring people. Every experience with them has been superb. I highly recommend this practice.
I completely trusted Dr. Kayton. He offers the highest tech equipment, has the nicest staff and takes the time to make sure you understand his evaluation.
Painless dentistry. Dedicated and compassionate staff. Efficient. The most complicated dental work I have had has been done here; also the most pleasant and painless.