Advice & Knowledge

Why Does My Breath Smell Bad Under A Face Mask

Written by Advice Team on July 30, 2020

Now that we’re all wearing face masks for work, public transportation or shopping, it’s possible that you might have noticed the smell of your breath more and more. Although you might not have realised in the past, a bad breath smell is harder to ignore when it’s contained beneath a face mask.

Why Does My Breath Smell Bad Under A Face Mask


Throughout the day, we’re constantly washing our mouths by brushing our teeth, drinking or eating, and so, we’re often removing the smell by rinsing out the bacteria or masking it with a stronger scent (consider toothpaste, onion or garlic). However, between these periods, the bacteria is left in our mouths and so, it multiplies and becomes a common cause of bad breath. The fact that we’re wearing masks as often as we’re not, means we’re more prone to noticing the odour than before.

What are the most common causes of bad breath?

- Food particles in and around your teeth
- Low carb diets or eating lots of sweets
- Smoking can cause bad breath
- Poor dental hygiene
- Dry mouth can cause bad breath without enough saliva to cleanse the mouth
- Some medications can contribute to dry mouth and cause bad breath
- Infections in your mouth such as tooth decay and gum disease
- As well as sickness and other conditions

How to get rid of bad breath quickly

Ensuring that you have a good routine when it comes to oral hygiene is going to be key in treating and preventing bad breath.

- Brush your teeth at least twice a day and if you have the opportunity to, then do it more: especially after eating.

- Don’t just focus on your teeth either. Make sure you give your tongue a good scrub as bacteria settles there, especially at the back of the tongue where our taste buds sit. A lot of modern electric toothbrushes have a setting specifically for your tongue too.

- You can’t go wrong with a good mouthwash to swill around and gargle. Go for ones that are antibacterial and will kill the bacteria in your mouth, especially in the morning after sleeping.

- Flossing is always a good go-to but be careful if you have particularly sensitive gums.

- You can also buy chewable mouthwash tablets or fresh breath sprays if you’re wearing your mask for extended periods of time at work or during a commute.

Electric toothbrushes provide superior plaque removal when compared to regular manual toothbrushes; this is because they provide the brushing action for you and with so many different heads, features and settings, they provide a much richer, deeper clean.

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