Do I Have Mask Breath?

By July 13, 2020 July 20th, 2020 General Dentistry
hand checking to see if breath is bad (halitosis)

Why Does My Mask Smell Bad?

No one wants to deal with halitosis (bad breath) when wearing a mask. But it turns out if there’s a foul odor coming from your mask, it’s probably coming from your breath. So, what’s the issue? These are the 6 most common causes of bad breath and how to treat them so your mask won’t smell too bad on your next adventure outside. And in most cases, getting rid of mask breath is as easy as identifying the problem and using a quick fix.

the world wearing a mask to protect self from coronavirus

1. Poor Oral Hygiene

The most obvious reason behind your mask breath could simply be poor oral hygiene. When you fail to brush your teeth properly, plaque builds up on your teeth. These clumps of bacteria form between and around your teeth, creating unwanted and uninviting smells. Over time, cavities form and provide a breeding ground for even more sticky, odor-causing bacteria.  

Brushing your teeth correctly and flossing regularly is the easiest solution. This removes unwanted food particles that sit around on your teeth and feed these unwanted bacteria, giving you bad breath. Also, you should see your local dentist regularly for teeth cleanings

2. Gum (Periodontal) Disease

About 50% of adults over 30 years old and 70% over the age of 65, have the advanced stages of gum disease. This disease, also known as periodontitis, smells bad. As mentioned, gum disease happens when plaque builds up on the teeth, providing the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Over time, that plaque turns into tartar. Tartar is harder to remove, making it easier for bacteria to remain and affect your breath.

Luckily, LANAP provides a quick and safe treatment option for restoring your gum health while destroying the harmful bacteria causing your bad breath. Your local dentist will use the laser to destroy the bacteria and infected tissue while scaling your teeth to remove the tartar. The result is a healthy mouth and fresh breath. 

3. Low-Carb Diet

Keto breath” is a side effect of a low carb diet. If you’re trying to watch what you eat and slim your waistline, you should be prepared that an unpleasant side effect of low carb diets can be bad breath. Severely low carb diets, like keto, put your body into a state of ketosis. That’s when you burn ketones for fuel instead of glucose. It’s that process that can make your breath smell unpleasant. 

Unfortunately, brushing or better oral hygiene won’t be much help here. You’d have to modify your diet to avoid the side-effects of ketosis. 

wooden cutting boar with cheese avocado and fruit slices on it showing low carb diet

4. Smoking

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Bad breath is a common side-effect of smoking. That’s because smoking dries out the mouth and makes it a prime breeding ground for bacteria and a range of oral diseases. 

The simple solution here is to quit smoking. Not only will giving up cigarettes improve your breath, but it can also greatly improve your oral and overall health. Plus, your mask will smell much, much better.

5. Dry Mouth

Interestingly enough, dry mouth can cause bad breath because it allows bad bacteria to flourish and create smelly odors. There are a lot of causes for dry mouth. It can be a side effect of many medications that treat anxiety, depression, blood pressure, and pain. There are also health conditions like diabetes, stroke, and several autoimmune diseases that can cause dry mouth. 

The key to avoiding bad breath from dry mouth is to drink lots of fluids. This flushes out the small food particles that can stay in your mouth, feeding bacteria. Eating sugar-free candies is another great way to fight dry mouth because it promotes saliva production. Either way, your mouth (and breath) will feel much fresher. 

6. Alcohol

Drinking alcohol can affect your oral microbiome, giving you foul-smelling breath that can stink up your mask. That’s because it decreases saliva production. And without saliva to regularly wash away odor-causing bacteria, you end up with bad breath. Additionally, the sugars in alcohol can amplify the problem. They feed the bacteria in your mouth, helping them multiply. Plus, drinking can cause acid reflux which can affect your breath as well. 

The easiest way to fight bad breath caused by alcohol is to limit your alcohol intake. You can also be sure to eat a meal before drinking to help limit any acid reflux. 

mona lisa wearing a mask to protect from coronavirus covid 19

Treating Bad Mask Breath in New York City

Bad mask breath isn’t just unpleasant and embarrassing, it can also be a cause for concern. And while regular dental hygiene can go a long way to keeping your breath minty fresh, regular dental exams and cleanings are just as important. 

If you live near Greenwich Village and need a safe place for dental treatment, then you should visit Advanced Dental Arts. We’re a top-rated, New York City-based dental practice located in Manhattan. 

Our dynamic team of board-certified dental specialists is standing by to put your mind at ease. Get your dental care back on track and get rid of back breath by booking your next dental appointment with ADA today!

Dr. Todd Bertman

Dr. Todd Bertman

Renowned NYC dentist Todd Bertman, DMD, has over 18 years of experience in the dental industry. In addition to membership in the American Dental Association, Dr. Bertman is also a member of the New York County Dental Association and the New York State Dental Association. He is certified as a Level I and II Invisalign practitioner, and belongs to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the World Clinical Laser Institute, and the IALD (Institute for Advanced Laser and Dentistry). Dr. Bertman is dedicated to learning about the latest advanced dental procedures and making them to his patients.

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