Covid Update: What You Need to Know About “Mask Mouth”


Have you noticed any bad breath while covering up with your face mask? Known as halitosis, bad breath is a not so pleasant common side effect of wearing face masks and can be embarrassing. The CDC recommends wearing a face covering outside of your home to stop the spread of infections, so it’s important to wear your mask, but let’s talk about a few ways to reduce halitosis and other issues that can come along with wearing a face mask.

What is the truth behind long-term mask use? Learn More HERE.

Common Symptoms of “Mask Mouth”:

Bleeding gums:

A common symptom of mask mouth is bleeding or swollen gums. This comes from an excess of bacteria and plaque in the mouth. If you’re experiencing swollen or bleeding gums, it’s a telltale sign that something isn’t right. Consult with your dentist quickly to determine the cause and find a fix!


One of the most common signs of mask mouth is bad breath. If you’re breathing through your mouth while wearing a mask, you’re drying out your mouth and causing bad breath. This can also cause dry lips. Saliva is such a great tool that our body already produces to help keep the germs out of our mouth, so when our mouth becomes dry and we lose saliva production, we’re creating bad-breath bacteria in the mouth. Less saliva in the mouth also means we are more prone to tooth decay and infections.  So, when we are wearing a face mask often and experience dry mouth, we’re advancing or progressing tooth decay.

Receding Gum Lines:

Recession in the gums is often caused by gum disease. With the higher bacteria production from mask mouth, dentists are seeing gum disease progress more rapidly.

Learn More about Gum Disease HERE.

Stopping “Mask Mouth”

There are definitely some changes we can make to reduce the symptoms of mask mouth and keep our teeth cleaner and less prone to decay.

  • Watch your diet: Certain foods can make our breath stink, so when you’re wearing a mask it’s extra important to think about what you’re consuming. Try to avoid coffee, garlic, and onions and try swishing with water after eating.
  • Freshen up. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day. Make sure you’re brushing your teeth correctly and try keeping mouthwash on hand to fight bad breath and bacteria in-between your brushings. Chewing sugar-free gum can also help with this. It also might be time for a new, fresh toothbrush.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink water throughout the day and try to avoid alcohol, coffee, and sugary drinks, which can cause dehydration and buildup of bacteria.
  • Use a clean mask. Replace your mask often and clean between wearing.

How do you take care of your mouth behind a face mask? Learn ways to keep your teeth strong and your mouth clean and healthy HERE.

Luff Dental is Committed to Patient Health and Safety

Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice, and you may have seen this during your visits to our office for dental appointments. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it is both safe and comfortable for you and our team, you may see some changes when it is time for your next  dental appointment. We would like to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep patients and staff safe; Learn More HERE.

Work with Dr. Luff and her team to find the most effective solution for your smile! We are always accepting new patients in the Lee’s Summit, MO and surrounding area who are ready to improve their confidence and smile! Please call Luff Dental at (816) 875-3391 to schedule your appointment or click HERE and we’ll connect with you!