Why does my breath smell bad when I wear a mask?

Why does my breath smell bad when I wear a mask?

You are not alone if you have been wondering to yourself “Why does my breath smell bad when I wear a mask?”.  Many people are realizing that their breath isn’t quite as fresh as it seemed now that they are wearing masks. So why are you so self-aware of your stinky breath now that you are wearing a mask on a daily basis? Here are a few reasons:


  • Bacteria – There are hundreds of types of naturally occurring bacteria in our mouths that cause bad breath. Your mouth also acts as a petri dish for these bacteria to grow and when you consume carbohydrates the bacteria use them to produce a foul smelling by product. 


  • Dry Mouth – Do you ever feel like you don’t have enough saliva in your mouth? Do you constantly drink water to keep the dry mouth away? Well when you don’t have enough saliva the bacteria in your mouth sit on your teeth and around your gums. This is the same bacteria that causes bad smelling breath. Saliva is nature’s way of getting rid of bad breath. Dry mouth can be caused by medications and other underlying medical conditions. 


  • Gum Disease – Constant bad breath or bad breath that just won’t seem to go away no matter what you do could be a warning sign of advanced gum disease. Gum disease is caused by the byproduct from bacteria called plaque. When gum disease is not controlled by frequent dental cleanings and improved home care, it can have disastrous effects like loss of teeth, loss of the bone supporting teeth and chronic bad breath.


  • Food – Some of the foods you consume on a regular basis might be the cause of your bad breath. Garlic, onions, coffee, etc, are all common causes of bad breath. This bad breath is usually temporary and well controlled with good oral hygiene. 


  • Smoking – Smokers are increasingly more likely to suffer from gum disease, which is a significant contributor to gum disease and bad breath. Smoking can affect one’s sense of smell and taste thus altering their perception of how their breath might really smell.


  • Medical Conditions – Many mouth infections cause bad breath. If the dentist has ruled out mouth infections like gum disease, and you floss and brush regularly, there could be a medical condition that is contributing to bad breath. Certain sinus conditions, gastric reflux, diabetes, liver or kidney disease can result in bad breath. 

How can you keep bad breath away?

The most important way to keep bad breath away is to make brushing and flossing your teeth a daily habit. Use over the counter mouthwashes regularly. Clean your dentures frequently and take them out at night. Keep saliva flowing by eating healthy foods, chewing sugar free gums and drinking plenty of water. Stop smoking immediately! 

Visit us at TenderCare Dental in Tigard, Oregon for regular dental checkups.