38% of respondents perceive bad breath as the most likely mask-caused oral health issue
Wearing face masks has turned into an inseparable part of our lives in the past year. 89% of DentaVox survey participants have been wearing face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic. But is this necessarily a good thing? Do face masks influence oral health and if so – how?
Throughout the last month, we surveyed over 1200 people globally to dig into the topic. The findings show that the majority of respondents consider protection against viruses/ bacteria for the wearer as the greatest advantage of face coverings. The emphatic thought of protecting others seems insignificant. On the other hand, difficult breathing leads in the ranking of disadvantages. Asked about the way masks influence oral health, nearly 40% of survey participants say that wearing face coverings is most likely to cause bad breath.
Find below more about the key conclusions based on respondents’ opinions:
- Protecting others is NOT a top advantage from masks
- Wearing masks influences oral health in a MIXED way
- Face masks are most likely to cause BAD breath
Protecting others is NOT a top advantage from masks
In line with the public debates, we asked DentaVox respondents about the perceived advantages and disadvantages of wearing face masks. With 61% of them pointing it out, self-protection from viruses and bacteria is considered the main benefit. It is furtherly followed by protection from air pollution, and the emphatic thought of protecting others seems totally insignificant with just 10% even mentioning it.
Turning to the dark side, difficult breathing seems to be a shortcoming for every second respondent. Interestingly, recent research found out that masks do not affect oxygen or carbon dioxide levels. This fact has left the appointed experts with the conclusion that the feeling of not being able to breathe is likely of a psychological rather than of a physical origin.
Wearing masks influences oral health in a MIXED way
According to just 20% of DentaVox survey participants, face masks do not have any impact on oral health. The other 80% seem rather undecided on the matter with the majority of them claiming a mixed influence. Curiously, the share of people who think face coverings do not affect teeth grows with age, starting from 16% in 18-24 yrs old and reaching 30% in the group of people aged 45+.
Face masks are most likely to cause BAD breath
Asked about possible oral health problems, the largest share of respondents indicated bad breath (halitosis) as the most likely issue to be caused by wearing a mask. This is claimed by 38% of DentaVox survey respondents, while dry mouth follows with 23% of them mentioning it.
A study on a similar topic has also started in the University Medical Center Goettingen, aiming at researching self-perceived dry mouth and halitosis and the use of face masks among patients, visitors, and staff members of the institution. The estimated study completion date is July 1, 2021.
Scientific studies of this correlation are not yet available but would be of great interest as dry mouth is a risk factor for numerous dental diseases, and bad breath can indicate other underlying conditions.
Download full infographic
The infographic, the article above, as well as all the images in this article, are available to republish for free, in full or in parts with a link to the source, namely: