Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Carissa Regnerus

Second Advisor

Jamie Turgeon Drake

Third Advisor

Katie Williams


Oral Health, Covid-19, Masks

Subject Categories

Dental Hygiene | Dentistry | Digestive, Oral, and Skin Physiology | Health Services Research


Oral health has seen significant changes through the Covid-19 pandemic. Many people experienced the lifestyle alteration of wearing a mask for a major portion of their day-to-day life, and some went to the dentist significantly less than they did pre-pandemic. The literature review explores dental practices during the Covid-19 pandemic. It also examines mask-wearing behaviors both before and during the pandemic and the research that has been conducted previously regarding the potential effects of mask-wearing. Despite the decrease in use of masks post-pandemic, many healthcare professionals continue to wear masks daily. Additionally, in the event of future disease outbreak, it is likely that masks will again be used to reduce transmission. Much is still unknown about the long-term effects of mask-use, but it was predicted that masks can cause harm in their disruption of the oral cavity’s natural microbiome. A survey was distributed to investigate the possible impacts that the Covid-19 pandemic had on oral health. While the results varied, it was shown that the pandemic did have a multitude of effects on the health of a person’s oral cavity, many connecting to mask-wear. This result can be used for future research regarding care for the oral cavity for healthcare workers and during pandemics.



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