A lot has changed over the past couple of months, and one thing that we’ve all introduced into our daily lives is the use of facemasks. Used to help minimize the risk of COVID-19, facemasks are supported by scientists and are now required at many public places. However, this daily use may raise some concerns for your dentist in Fairfax.
An Important Note About Facemasks
Before we go any farther, we want to be clear that we are not suggesting that you stop wearing a mask, as the potential benefits outweigh the risks. What we are recommending is that you become aware of how your facemask can play a role in your oral health and learn what you can do to help.
While the mask itself isn’t causing cavities, the changes we experience as a result of wearing them can. For example, most of us are not used to wearing a facemask at all let alone daily or perhaps all day every day. Because of this new factor, many people may begin to breathe out of their mouths instead of their noses because it’s more comfortable. However, this change in breathing is what can cause concerns for your dentist in Fairfax.
When we breathe out of our mouths, whether because of a facemask or not, it can quickly dry out saliva production and create dry mouth. Dry mouth is concerning because a mouth needs saliva to help wash away things like bacteria and neutralize acids. Without it, teeth are at increased risk for tooth decay and other intraoral problems.
Besides an increased risk of decay, mouth breathing can also cause bad breath. Since there’s not enough saliva around to wash away bacteria, they’re left free to feed on leftover food particles. As a result, these bacteria release a stinky byproduct.
Avoid Dry Mouth
Now, even though your dentist in Fairfax knows that mouth breathing and dry mouth aren’t great for oral health, there are things you can do to help avoid dry mouth or treat it if it does occur such as:
If you’re concerned that dry mouth may be causing dental problems, or you’d like to talk to someone about getting some relief, call your dentist in Fairfax. As with many dental concerns, the sooner dry mouth is diagnosed and treated properly the less chance it has to cause serious, more complicated problems.
Are you looking for a dentist in Northern Virginia? We’re always accepting new patients at our dental offices in Manassas, Reston, Gainesville, Fairfax, and Herndon!