Wearing a face mask could lead to problem with your teeth and gums, an expert has warned.
Chief clinical officer at SmileDirectClub, Dr Jeffrey Sulitzer, claims that a condition dubbed “mask mouth” could lead to serious health issues.
Wearing a mask for long periods of time can cause people to breathe more through the mouth than the nose, reports the Liverpool Echo.
This can cause the mouth to become dry leading to dental concerns like gum disease.
Dr Jeffrey claims that better oral hygiene is the best way to keep tooth problems away during the pandemic.
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He said: “Covering your mouth and nose for long periods of time impacts your breathing and forces you to breathe more through your mouth.
“As a result, this restricts the flow of moisture which can cause dryness in your mouth.
“A dry mouth has the increased tendency for cavities, gum disease and bad breath.
“If you’re wearing a mask for long periods of time, you should enhance your normal oral hygiene program, hydrate between wearing masks, and try using sugar-free lozenges or gum to promote salivary flow.”
A breathing specialist has also pitched in with her tips for wearing masks.
Joanne Clayton, from Broadgreen Hospital, Liverpool said: “You might want to start practising wearing it for 30 seconds or a minute to begin with and gradually increase the tolerance that you can bear it at home before you then start to go out and about.
“It is also important to remember to breathe in and out through the nose.
“A lot of people when they put the mask on start to mouth breathe quite heavily and this actually only increases the likelihood that the levels of anxiety can raise.”
She continued: “So breathe through the nose, try to breathe slowly and silently but again not too deeply because this can make you get dizzy.
“Ideally you should always make sure that your outward breath is slightly longer than the inward breath.
“And you might need to practise walking to find a comfortable pace that you can breathe easily at.”