Carrington College Dental Hygiene Instructor Provides Insight on “Mask Mouth” in Dimensions of Dental Hygiene Magazine
Jessica Fagan, a full-time Dental Hygiene Instructor at Carrington College in Sacramento, spent years working as a dental hygienist before entering academia. She is an advocate for the dental hygiene community and recently authored an article in Dimensions of Dental Hygiene magazine.
The article, titled “The Truth Behind Mask Mouth,” discusses ways in which dental practitioners can protect themselves and their patients while combating xerostomia as a side effect of mask usage.
“Headaches can be a symptom of dehydration. Extended mask wearing may inhibit the consumption of enough fluids throughout the day,” says Fagan. “This could, in turn, lead to xerostomia, which opens the door for potential oral complications.”
Xerostomia has also been associated with an increased risk of fungal infections, oral malodor, and periodontal diseases, which may be why you may have heard of the phrase “mask mouth.” Since masks are now required in many public settings, dental hygiene professionals need to discuss these potential complications with their patients, as they too are wearing masks for extended periods.
“Despite the chaotic environment of a dental office and the added PPE, we must also remember to drink enough water at the start of a long shift to stay hydrated,” advises Fagan. “It can be difficult to combat xerostomia as it relates to extended mask usage, but please remember to take care of yourself so that you can continue to take care of others.”
Here is a link to the full article and more information on “The Truth Behind Mask Mouth.”
Learn more about the Dental Hygiene program at Carrington College.