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Oral health and mask use at risk?

 Continued use of masks threatens to change oral hygiene habits.

Oral health and mask use at risk?

For more than a year, masks have become part of our daily lives. Unfortunately, this raises some questions regarding oral health and warns about the possibility of negatively modifying oral hygiene habits.

The mask is one of the most effective measures in preventing Covid-19, but having more than the lower half of our face covered about 8 hours a day, can make us forget about it, taking away the importance it deserves. Oral hygiene should be addressed; on the contrary, this is the time to intensify and be more rigorous with oral cavity care measures. 
The truth is that since the arrival of this "new normal," many of our habits have been modified. For example, it has become difficult to brush our teeth outside the home, either for fear of contagion or because, in some establishments, it is not allowed to use the bathroom for this purpose due to the risk of spreading the virus by aerosol dispersion.
Also, the oral health specialist says that prolonged use of the mask can cause us to drink fewer fluids for fear of removing the cover and being left unprotected. In this sense, the lack of water can produce alterations in the oral cavity, favoring the development of oral pathologies. Water helps in the self-cleaning process of the mouth, provides fluoride in the case of fluoridated water, and selects the production of saliva.
With the current knowledge, it is concluded that masks are not responsible for the appearance of oral pathologies. However, it is essential to insist on choosing the most appropriate cover, using it correctly, and taking care of our oral health. We should maintain a diet of healthy food and drink, pay attention to our oral hygiene and follow a proper protocol of check-ups at the dentist.
We should also remember that from age 65 onwards, several changes in the oral cavity can lead to oral pathologies, such as xerostomia, tooth loss, caries, periodontal disease, and oral cancer thousands of cases are detected every year.