Does this sound familiar? You wake up in the morning and quickly cover your mouth with your hand, run to the bathroom gargle some mouthwash and brush your teeth because your mouth tastes like something has died in there and your breath would act like a weapon of mass destruction.
Morning breath (halitosis) can be unpleasant and it probably isn’t the way you want to greet your partner, or the day.
Everyone has morning breath to some degree.
Here’s the simple reason why: When you sleep, your mouth dries out. When your mouth dries out, odour-producing bacteria breed and proliferate and that’s why your breath can be worse in the morning.
If you snore or breathe through your mouth at night, you’re more likely to have bad breath in the morning than those who don’t as your mouth is even more prone to drying out, allowing bacteria to grow.
Other Causes of Bad Breath
Some medications can cause your mouth to become dry overnight, worsening your halitosis. That’s why older people, who are often on many medications, frequently find their breath more unpleasant in the morning.
Smokers also may find they have bad morning breath. Smoking not only causes your saliva to dry up but also can raise the temperature of your mouth, making it a breeding ground for that dreaded bacteria that causes bad breath.
Allergies, too, can lead to bad breath. The mucus that drips down the back of your throat becomes a food source for bacteria. Should your postnasal drip become infected, it can put more odour-causing bacteria in your mouth.
Gum disease is one of the major causes of bad breath. Untreated gum disease allows bacteria that cause putrid smells and infection to harbour in the mouth and gums.
Mouth infections like dental abscesses and infected wisdom teeth can also be responsible for you bad breath.
How to Treat Bad Breath
If you’re one of the 65 percent of people with halitosis don’t panic, as bad breath is treatable.
Brush. Odour-causing bacteria accumulate between your teeth and on your tongue, so practicing good dental hygiene will do a lot to improve your morning breath. When you brush, be sure to do so for at least two minutes, not the 35 or 40 seconds that many people do.
After your nighttime brush, go directly to bed! Don’t eat or drink anything so as not to leave any food in your mouth.
Also, when you brush your teeth, brush your tongue too or preferable use a tongue scraper as the favorite place for odour-causing bacteria to live is at the back of your tongue. You’ll notice your breath is much fresher in the morning if you brush or scrape your tongue before you go to bed. 85% of bad breath smell comes from your tongue.
Floss. Brushing alone won’t remove the food particles that can become stuck between your teeth and gums.
Rinse. Mouthwash will get rid of the odour but only temporarily and can tend to kill the good bacteria as well as the bad depending on the brand. Look for an alcohol free mouthwash as using one with alcohol in will dry your mouth out further and make you morning breath worse. When rinsing a quick swish won’t do- if the directions say rinse for 30 seconds, then rinse for 30 seconds.
Visit Your Dentist. Regular dental checks and oral hygiene care can support you to reduce or eliminate bad breath by detecting and treating any dental issues and gum disease.
Moss Vale Dental can recommend products to help alleviate dry mouth and bad breath.
Please call our friendly Dental team to make an appointment so we can discuss your dental needs on 02 4869 3111.