If wearing your mask has caused you to change the way you breathe, you’re not alone. Most of us are still getting used to wearing masks day after day, hour after hour, and many of us may have felt the need to adjust from breathing out of noses to breathing out of our mouths as a result. But can this change in breathing have oral health side effects? Your dentist in Douglasville is here with the answer.
*A Quick Note
We need to first address the importance of continuing to wear a mask when in public or around people. The information included in this blog does not outweigh the overall benefits and protection offered from wearing a mask. We also provide tips on how to overcome the side effects discussed. Please continue wearing a mask whenever you’re around others or in a public space.
Mouth Breathing & Oral Health
We’re all probably familiar with what dry mouth feels like, but let’s have a refresher. Take a few deep breaths using only your mouth. Do you feel that dry, desert-like feeling? Do you feel like you need to take a drink or that you need to keep swallowing? That’s dry mouth and it’s what happens when we mouth breathe. Dry mouth is a result of a lack of saliva, and it’s something that concerns your dentist in Douglasville.
Saliva is a crucial part of a healthy mouth as it helps neutralize acids and wash away harmful bacteria. But without it, or enough of it, these bacteria and acids are left untouched and can cause damage. And that’s not all. The bacteria feed on leftover food particles and release an acidic byproduct, which just means more acid is around to cause more damage.
Acid Leads to Cavities
The problem with too much acid in the mouth is that it can easily wear down tooth enamel and leave teeth exposed to bacteria. As the cycle of bacteria and acid production continues, the more likely it is that a cavity, or several cavities, will form.
Bacteria Leads to Bad Breath
While we now know that bacteria can contribute to the development of cavities, we also need to know that elevated levels of bacteria can also cause bad breath. The truth is, mouth bacteria release sulfur compounds, and it’s these stinky sulfur compounds that cause bad breath.
Ways to Prevent Dry Mouth
Dry mouth can occur from mouth breathing but it can also be caused by certain medications, health conditions, or tobacco use. But there are ways you can prevent or reduce the effects of dry mouth such as:
- Gum or Candy. Chewing sugar-free gum or gum that contains Xylitol can help encourage saliva production and keep the mouth moist. Sucking on sugarless hard candies can also have a similar effect.
- Water. Trusty water should be everyone’s go-to drink of choice for a lot of reasons. It’s good for the body, it’s good for oral health, and it can help keep the mouth hydrated and bacteria and acid-free.
- Brush & Floss. Even though good oral hygiene won’t necessarily stop dry mouth from occurring, it can help reduce the side effects. Brushing twice a day and flossing every day can help remove bad breath causing bacteria and keep the mouth clean and healthy.
While we’re still encouraged to wear masks, try your best to breathe out of your nose instead of your mouth. However, if mouth breathing is more comfortable, make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep your mouth hydrated. If you do start to experience dry mouth, call your dentist in Douglasville. There are ways your dentist can further treat dry mouth so you can get relief.
There are plenty of reasons why someone may not love the way their smile looks. Maybe their teeth aren’t white enough or perhaps they’re crooked or worn down. Whatever the reason, there’s a cosmetic dentistry solution from your dentist in Douglasville that can transform your smile into one you’re proud of and can’t wait to show off. Better yet, many of these treatments are fast and easy so you can get a new look quickly.
Top 5 Cosmetic Dentistry Solutions
Depending on your specific wants and needs, your dentist in Douglasville can recommend the best cosmetic dentistry treatment, or combination of treatments, for your smile goals. Here are some of the most popular cosmetic dentistry solutions available to patients.
- Teeth Whitening
One of the easiest ways to boost your smile’s appearance is to change the color of your teeth. However, finding the best teeth whitening treatment in Douglasville can be confusing. From over-the-counter whitening strips and pens to glowing trays that you can buy online, there are tons of teeth whitening solutions available. It’s important to know that not all of these treatments are created equal. We recommend talking with your dentist about getting professional teeth whitening treatment before investing in any product. Your dentist will want to make sure that your teeth are healthy enough for whitening and can help make the best recommendation to get you the results you want.
- Dental Veneers
Veneers are a perfect cosmetic dentistry solution if you want to whiten your teeth and a traditional whitening product won’t work, if you have chipped, broken, or crooked teeth, or if you want to change the length or shape of your teeth. As the name suggests, veneers essentially cover up the natural tooth and are custom-made to give you the shape and color you’re looking for.
If veneers aren’t an option for you, there is an alternative. Cosmetic bonding can also cover up undesirable stains, fix tiny chips or cracks, or change the appearance of crooked or uneven teeth. Talk with your dentist to see if cosmetic bonding is right for you.
- Orthodontics & Clear Aligners
A crooked smile or overlapping teeth can make you want to hide your smile. Even those who had braces as a child can see their teeth shift over time. But thanks to advancements in dental technology, there are many types of orthodontics available to help straighten your smile. From traditional braces, clear braces, or clear aligners, you’re sure to find the right solution for your teeth and your lifestyle.
- Smile Makeover
Occasionally, your dentist will recommend a combination of cosmetic dentistry solutions to get you the smile you want. This is known as a smile-makeover or a full-mouth restoration and can completely transform your smile. Your dentist will create a custom plan for you that can fix things such as:
- Uneven Teeth
- Broken Teeth
- Stained Teeth
- A Gummy Smile
- Dark Metal Fillings
While cosmetic dentistry can enhance your smile, it’s still important to take care of your teeth so your treatment lasts and your mouth stays healthy. After all, oral health involves more than just your smile. Make sure you brush for two minutes every day, floss once a day, and see your dentist in Douglasville at least twice a year to keep your teeth, gums, and entire mouth protected.