Dentists warn about face covering 'mask mouth' - here's how to prevent it

28 August 2020, 11:42 | Updated: 28 August 2020, 11:43

Dentists have warned the public about 'mask mouth' (stock images)
Dentists have warned the public about 'mask mouth' (stock images). Picture: Getty

Wearing a face covering in certain settings is now mandatory for most people, and there are steps you can take to avoid certain issues they can cause.

Dentists have warned the public about the effects face coverings can have on oral health on hygiene, and offered tips on how to combat 'mask mouth'.

Face masks are compulsory in settings like public transport and shops for many people in the country, and there are steps you can take to alleviate certain side effects that can come with wearing them.

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Dentist Dr Jeffrey Sulitzer, Chief Clinical Officer of SmileDirectClub, has warned that they could be having an affect on your oral health and hygiene.

Face masks are mandatory in shops in England
Face masks are mandatory in shops in England. Picture: PA

He said, according to the Mirror: "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."

He also opened up about steps you can take to alleviate the issue, saying: "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."

Another issue masks can bring is 'maskne', and Dr Jaskaren, skin specialist and founder of, told Heart how you can help tackle this.

There are steps you can take to alleviate 'mask mouth' (stock image)
There are steps you can take to alleviate 'mask mouth' (stock image). Picture: Getty

“Wearing a facemask can play havoc with skin causing acne flare ups and breakouts.

"This is because the mask creates a warm and humid environment that can have an impact on the amount of sebum your skin produces - if the skin overproduces serum it can lead to spots, greasy skin, clogged pores, and breakouts. 

"To avoid this, and ensure you keep your complexion clear make sure you are using a gentle exfoliator twice a day; this will prevent a build up of dead skin which can sit on the surface of the skin and cause irritations."

"Also choose a light, fast-absorbing moisturiser that doesn’t sit on the surface of the skin - I’d recommend the OBAGI hydrate moisturiser which will feed the skin rather than occlude it.

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"This will offer long term protection by strengthening the barrier of the skin. If you can, go makeup free as this will allow the skin to breathe - if you can’t manage to stay clear of the foundation, make sure you thoroughly remove all traces of makeup once you take the mask off.

"After washing the skin, try not to rub the surface, patting dry with a towel rather than rubbing. A good moisturiser at this time is also essential to put back any lost moisture into the skin.

"If you do get a breakout or acne as a result of wearing your facemask, treat it by using anti inflammatory ingredients such as a cleanser containing salicylic acid. This will reduce inflammation and help combat congestion of the skin."


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