We want to reassure everyone that seeing a dentist is safe. No cases of COVID-19 have been traced back to dental visits. Our entire dental team has been well trained in excellent infection control, and we are even more vigilant than before, keeping you and us safe.
Your smile might be hidden underneath a mask for a while longer, but good oral care is even more important during a pandemic. Bel Canto is safely welcoming and treating patients during these unsettled times.
If it has been a while since your last checkup, we encourage you to book your visit now. Although wearing a mask helps protect our community and slows the spread of the virus, it can increase the risk of ‘mask mouth.’
What is Mask Mouth?
This term refers to the potential side effects of wearing a mask for long periods. Wearing a mask constantly can increase the risk of bad breath, dry mouth, tooth decay and gum disease due to several factors.
Wearing a mask can cause shallower breathing through the mouth, decreasing saliva. A good saliva flow is essential for oral health, washing away bacteria and loose food debris, reducing your risk of cavities. When you have dry mouth, it is easier for harmful bacteria to build up. You may notice you drink less water when wearing a mask, and dehydration makes it harder for your body to make enough saliva.
Wearing a mask constantly can increase the risk of bad breath, dry mouth, tooth decay and gum disease
Preventing Mask Mouth
When you visit Bel Canto, Dr. Mackie can monitor your oral health closely. If there are any changes such as signs of dry mouth or tooth decay, we can provide suitable treatment more quickly, helping to restore optimal dental health. You can rest assured treatment is provided in an environment where we take every precaution to keep you safe.
We can offer advice on avoiding the effects of mask mouth by practicing good oral care at home. Regular brushing and flossing help to eliminate harmful bacteria, protecting oral health while keeping your breath fresher.
We can discuss suitable products to use at home, including mouthwash and mouth gel to relieve the effects of dry mouth.
Make sure you change your mask regularly to prevent bacterial buildup by washing it daily or throwing away disposable masks after each wear. Try to sip plenty of water and avoid drinking too much tea and coffee that can accelerate dehydration.
Paying more attention to your oral care routine will address the risk of mask mouth, and wearing a mask is a small price to pay for protecting those around you.
The Importance of Good Gum Health During a Pandemic
Good gum health is essential at any time but could potentially help reduce the severity of COVID-19 complications. A recent study led by researchers at McGill University discovered that people with gum disease and COVID-19 could be at increased risk of needing intensive care. Severe gum disease causes inflammation in the gums that, without treatment, can spread throughout the body. COVID-19 can cause an inflammatory response in the body, that if you have gum disease is exacerbated further.
Advanced gum disease is already considered a risk factor for serious systemic diseases, but this condition is avoidable. One common problem with gum disease is that the early signs are often overlooked unless you visit a dentist regularly. Every time we check your teeth, we check your gum health carefully and detect any changes immediately. When we catch gum disease soon enough, it is often reversible by professionally cleaning your teeth to remove the infection and inflammation, combined with improving your oral care routine at home.