If you start to smell your breath after wearing a face mask all day, you're not alone. Dentists say they are being flooded with patients complaining about the problem — dubbed "mask mouth," which some dentists say is linked to poor oral health.
"We're seeing a lot of people with more inflammation, more cavities and gum disease," said periodontist Dr. Rob Raimondi.
One of the causes may be dry mouth prompted by breathing through your mouth instead of your nose to try to get more air while wearing a mask.
"We all have normal bacteria in their mouth, which acts with our saliva which bathes our teeth," said dentist Marc Sclafani. "So with the lack of saliva, more of this gooey plaque is sticking to the teeth, causing the bad breath."
There are ways to prevent mask mouth, including brushing thoroughly, using a tongue scraper and staying hydrated.