“Yes, yes, it’s your breath that you can feel behind your mask. For your comfort, chew masked”: with this slogan, a famous brand of chewing gum has made more than one Internet user laugh.
However, this is a real problem: since this summer, American dentists have been facing an explosion of consultations for halitosis, from a report broadcast in “Inside Edition”.
For them, nothing very surprising; this increase is mainly linked to poor oral health. “We see a lot of patients with inflammation of the mouth, more cavities and gum disease”, explains from his New York office Dr. Rob Raimondi, who recommends not to neglect regular visits, including during the pandemic .
Without being the trigger, wearing a mask has indeed played a revealing role, most people generally not being aware of the smell they emit, even when it is bad …
Who are the most inconvenienced? Those who inhale and exhale mainly through the mouth will make it drier. However, saliva plays an essential role in protecting teeth by fighting bacteria, while protecting enamel. The specialist advises to brush your teeth two to three times a day, to hydrate properly, to have a balanced diet and to limit alcohol, tobacco and certain foods (garlic, onion, leek, cabbage, etc. ) to avoid reflux and digestive disorders.
The choice of the mask model, which should not be too tight, is also important: the FFP2, which can be worn 8 hours in a row, is more airtight than the surgical one, which can be kept for about 4 hours. If it is made of fabric, wash it well at high temperature to remove all odorous products and bacteria that may settle on it.
While bad breath is 9 out of 10 times due to poor hygiene, it should never be a symptom taken lightly. Certainly, healthy people emit smelly volatile organic compounds, such as acetone, a product of lipid metabolism, or ethanol, a potential indicator of glucose levels in the body.
But several chemical compounds present in the mouth can also indicate the presence of serious diseases such as diabetes, lung cancer or Parkinson’s disease. An olfactory camera, called “sniff-cam” was also developed last summer by American researchers who established a link between body odor and certain pathologies.