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Tennessee dentists warn of ‘mask mouth’

Face masks can cause what some dentists call "mask mouth."
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Published: Aug. 11, 2020 at 10:53 PM EDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WVLT/WREG) - In many places across Tennessee, you will see mask requirements at restaurants and stores. It’s the new normal since the start of the pandemic.

However, dentists are warning of a new problem due to prolonged mask wearing--mask mouth, CBS affiliate WREG reported.

Dr. Blake Billups, a dentist who has practiced in Memphis for 16 years, says prolonged mask wearing can cause the mouth to become dry.

“There’s not enough data to know the consequences of what it’ll do,” Billups said. “Anytime we have a dryer mouth, we have a higher chance of getting tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease because the mouth is dryer.”

“Mask mouth” is caused due to heavy breathing out of the mouth.

“Drinking water, keeping hydrated, keeping water in the mouth to disrupt the bacteria is a great thing to do,” Billups said.

Copyright 2020 WVLT. All rights reserved.

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