You got a good shower, brushed and flossed your teeth and slipped under the covers for a full night’s sleep. When the sun comes up and your alarm goes off, your body is still clean and you feel refreshed – until you open your mouth and discover your “less than fresh” breath you’ve developed over night. Don’t worry; you are not alone. Nearly everyone experiences bad breath upon waking – commonly termed “morning breath.” If you just brushed before bed and didn’t eat onions in your sleep, why do you keep getting stinky breath in the mornings?
While persistent daytime bad breath (or halitosis) often needs a dentist’s attention, the foul breath odor you experience in the morning is typically not cause for alarm. In fact, if you’ve put forth your efforts in dental hygiene the night before, morning breath is probably beyond your control. It all starts with a dry mouth.
When we sleep, many of our body functions slow down, which includes our saliva production. With a decreased amount of saliva, our mouths become dry and less able to wash away plaque and bacteria. Keep in mind that oral bacteria exists in our mouths at all times, regardless of whether we are eating or drinking. During nighttime sleep, therefore, our tongue, gums and back of the throat become dry, sticky and coated in bacteria. As bacteria feeds and breeds, it produces foul smelling compounds that give us that dreaded “morning breath” and sends us running for the toothpaste.
What should you do if you have bad breath that continues beyond morning brushing habits? Talk to your dentist. Halitosis can be a warning sign of poor oral hygiene, decay, gum disease and other dental health problems. It may also mean that you have a dry mouth during the day too, which can be relieved with special mouth rinses or by chewing sugarless gum.
For more help on battling bad breath, call Gilreath Family Dentistry. While we can’t put an end to common morning breath, we can give you helpful tips to ensure the health of your mouth is not the culprit to your foul breath odors.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV,