Bad Breath under Your Face Mask? 5 Tips for Freshening It Up

Medically reviewed by Mounota Rahman
Medically reviewed by Mounota Rahman on June 30, 2020
Dietitian & Nutritionist
Updated on July 4th, 2020
Bad Breath under Face Mask
  • “30% of the adult population suffers or has ever suffered from halitosis or bad breath.”
  • “The saliva remains stuck in the mask and, when dried, can generate an unpleasant odor.”

They are uncomfortable, hot, and stinky. They are the three most common complaints when it comes to masks. The last one is repeated more and more on social networks. But really, is the mask giving off an unpleasant odor, or is it our breath?

According to data from the Spanish Society of Periodontology and Osseointegration (SEPA), 30% of the adult population suffers or has occasionally suffered from halitosis or bad breath. Well, in this article, we’ll give you 5 techniques to avoid falling victim to your mouth odor so that you can confidently interact with others.

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How to Safely Reuse & Clean Masks

1. If The Use is Correct, the Mask Does Not Smell Bad

The masks are made of a material that does not smell when coming from the factory. But we must bear in mind that its function is to prevent the small drops that come out of our mouth from being spread in the environment. Those traces of saliva are retained in the mask, and when dried, they can generate an unpleasant odor.

When we talk about surgical masks, which are recommended for the general population, their useful life is 4 or 5 hours. If we exceed that period, it saturates and stops filtering, and the strong smell increases. To avoid it, you have to treat it the way they are programmed.

If we talk about FFP2, its durability is longer, about 24 hours. Those masks prevent you from infection and infecting you. “

You could reuse it for up to five days in periods of 4 hours and let it air dry for one day after each use,” says Carmen Martín Carreras-Presas, secretary of the Governing Board of the College of Dentists and Stomatologists of the First Region (COEM).

2. Use Essential Oils

Essential oils help you effectively and lastingly against bad breath under face mask. Unlike chewing gum and other pastilles, they do not only mask the smell! They go much further by cleaning up the mouth while improving your digestion.

Here come three essential oils against bad breath – 

I. Peppermint for a powerful and global action

Fresh and peppery, peppermint essential oil permanently masks bad odors. Also, it fights against the bacteria responsible for bad odors inside the mouth. Finally, it supports the digestive and hepatic sphere promoting the elimination of toxins from the body.

Use: Make a trace of peppermint essential oil under the tongue. Repeat the operation after meals. Do not do more than 8 days in a row.

Precautions for use:  

  • Perform a skin test before application
  • Not suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women, children under six years old, people with epilepsy or with neurological disorders, people with hormone-dependent disorders, whether cancerous or not
  • People deficient in the G6PD enzyme, people suffering from cholelithiasis, inflammation of the gallbladder, serious liver disorders, hypertension, and major cardiovascular problems should also avoid this

[Also Read: Benefits of Peppermint Oil]

II. Lemon for a draining and sanitizing effect

The essence of lemon has a flavorful taste in addition to its sanitizing properties. Therefore, it perfectly adapts to the problems of bad breath(1) of the oral sphere.

Use: Apply a drop of this essence on your toothbrush before applying your usual toothpaste. Do it once a day.

Precautions for use: 

  • Do not apply directly on the skin
  • Do not expose to the sun after application of this essence to the skin (phototoxicity)
  • Do not use internally in pregnant women and children under 1 year.

III. Tea tree for a reinforced anti-infectious action

Tea Tree essential oil from Australia has antibacterial and antifungal properties, which make it an essential oil of choice in the case of infectious disorders. With it, bacteria can’t misbehave!

Use: Apply a drop of this essential oil on your toothbrush before applying your usual toothpaste. Do it once a day.

Precautions for use:  

  • Perform a skin test before application
  • Do not apply on the skin without diluting
  • Not suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women, children under three years old.

[Also Read: Best Essential Oils For Health ]

3. Avoid Having a Dry Mouth

Saliva contains antibacterial substances that naturally eliminate germs and particles responsible for bad breath.

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This is the origin of the awkward breath in the morning: At night, we tend to breathe through the mouth rather than through the nose. This causes a disorder in the salivary glands and a decrease in the production of saliva.

On a daily basis, to avoid dry mouth, your first reflex should be to drink water.

[Also Read: Home Remedies For Dry Mouth]

4. Beware of Certain Foods

Garlic, onion, cheese, cauliflower, anchovies are to be banished if you want to keep your breath fresh.

Note that hyper-protein diets are also responsible for bad breath, a sign of rapid fat breakdown.

Also, get to know yourself: some people do not digest dairy products, for example. Their “bad” digestion can thus lead to unpleasant breath. People prone to gastroesophageal reflux should also avoid acidifying foods.

Warning: the consumption of alcohol, coffee, or tobacco also gives bad breath.

5. Visit the Dentist Regularly

Your dentist will be able to identify the source of your bad breath, but let him/her treat your possible oral problems (cavities, gingivitis, etc.). An appointment with the dentist is also an opportunity to perform regular descaling. It is advisable to go there at least once a year.

[Also Read: Home Remedies To get rid of Bad Breath]


About the Author:

Mounota Rahman is a dietitian-nutritionist, writer, and blogger. She liberates people from dieting by offering them practical solutions to eating healthy and moving more, allowing them to live in a confident energetic body they love without diets or deprivation.  To know more visit here.

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