Evaluation of the salivary parameters in facial mask wearers during Covid-19 pandemic

DOI: https://doi.org/10.25241/stomaeduj.2021.8(4).art.1


Introduction The COVID-19 pandemic situation forced governments to impose various measures to reduce the spread of the virus. The most used method is to wear facial masks, which can be found under several commercial forms. Wearing facial masks has caused a lot of controversy and rumors. Among them, many patients and practitioners have complained of a dry mouth after wearing different types of facial masks for a variable period of time. The aim of this study was to analyze the quantitative (un-/stimulated salivary flow rate) and qualitative (pH and buffer capacity) changes in saliva in mask wearers.
Methodology Forty subjects were selected for this study. All of them wore alternatively no mask, a surgical mask for 2 hours, and FFP2 mask for 2 hours (groups 1, 2, and 3). Saliva samples were collected from all the subjects in the groups and analyzed to determine the values of un-/stimulated salivary flow rate, the pH, and buffer capacity using GC Saliva-Check Buffer (GC Corporation, Japan). Descriptive and analytical statistics were performed using ANOVA and Bonferroni post-hoc test.
Results For unstimulated saliva samples, between groups 1 and 3, statistically significant differences were recorded, with a significance level of 0,02<p=0,05. For stimulated saliva, salivary pH or buffer samples, no significant differences were found between groups.
Conclusion Wearing FFP2 masks for two hours showed a reduction in salivary flow rate compared to subjects who did not wear facial masks. Wearing surgical masks did not produce changes in salivary flow rates, pH or buffer capacity.


Mask; COVID-19; Saliva; pH; Buffer Capacity.

Updated: February 24, 2022 — 8:19 am