“Bad breath is a part of life. There are many reasons you might experience bad breath, such as drinking alcohol or eating strong smelling food. Or, simply because you haven’t brushed your teeth yet.”

A more serious and longer lasting cause of bad breath (also called halitosis) is often poor oral hygiene habits, such as not regularly brushing your teeth.

Smoking tobacco can cause bad breath. Tobacco leaves a trail of foul-smelling chemicals in the mouth.

Some people have noticed they’ve experienced temporary or chronic bad breath during the COVID-19 pandemic, when they’ve been wearing facial coverings frequently.

Bad breath can be prevented by wearing facial coverings.

Facial coverings can make you more aware of bad breath. In some cases, wearing masks can cause bad breath.

There is a relationship between bad breath and facial coverings.

The factors that affect whether other people can smell your breath are listed. First, think about the type of mask you are wearing. Some restrict the amount of breath that escapes.

Generally, there are three kinds of facial coverings people wear to protect themselves and others from COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses. These include:

  • cloth face masks.
  • surgical masks.
  • N95 and KN95 are used for respiratory protection.

The most amount of breath can be allowed to escape by wearing surgical masks and cloth masks. It is often through the sides or tops of the facial coverings. Thin fabrics like polyester can help you breathe.

Some facial coverings are made of less-breathable materials and cling to the face more tightly. The masks are the most effective at removing germs. They prevent bad breath from escaping. The masks have low levels of air exchange, meaning less air is brought in and out, than more-breathable types of masks.

N95s and KN95s seem to trap your breath inside for a long time. You are unlikely to remove your mask when you are wearing a facial covering.

Dry mouth is a common issue among people who wear facial coverings often. A major cause is dehydration. When you’re wearing a mask, you may be less likely to drink regularly — which requires frequent mask removal and replacement.

Your mouth cannot clean itself when you have less saliva in it.

Food particles and debris can be washed away by saliva. Dry mouth can be caused by certain medications and salivary disorders, but breathing through your mouth instead of your nose can cause it.

While wearing a facial covering, mouth breathing is common. It can cause a build up of bad breath by the organisms in your mouth.

According to a 2021 study about breath odor and COVID-19 face masks, many study participants began noticing or experiencing bad breath during the pandemic when they started regularly wearing facial coverings.

Bad breath is less desirable because facial coverings help stop the spread of disease.

You can prevent bad breath by wearing a mask.

  • Maintain good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day.
  • “Don’t smoke cigarettes.”
  • When appropriate, choose a surgical mask for your face.
  • Dry mouth is a major contributor to bad breath.
  • You should visit a dentist at least once a year.

You can take steps to manage bad breath if you wear masks. Stay hydrated, visit your dentist regularly, and take good care of your dental health.