Where Does My Morning Breath Come From?

woman with a fish between her teeth

Morning breath is a pretty unpleasant problem that affects most people. Thankfully, there are steps that you can take to reduce the problem and help your breath smell a little fresher when you wake up.

What Causes Morning Breath?

Morning breath is usually caused by anaerobic bacteria, which break down the food that you eat and produce unpleasant smells in the process. Production of saliva slows down while you sleep, and these bacteria thrive in a dry mouth, which means that even people who don’t usually suffer from bad breath don’t smell as fresh in the morning.

The Role of Oral Hygiene in Morning Breath

You can help to prevent stinky morning breath by thoroughly brushing and flossing your teeth before you go to bed. Brushing and flossing helps remove food particles from your mouth so bacteria can’t feed on them while you sleep. If you choose to use mouthwash before bed, select one that does not contain alcohol, as alcohol can dry out the mouth and create an environment that is more hospitable to those nasty anaerobic bacteria.

Diet and Morning Breath

You can help to prevent stinky morning breath by thoroughly brushing and flossing your teeth before you go to bed. Brushing and flossing helps remove food particles from your mouth so bacteria can’t feed on them while you sleep. If you choose to use mouthwash before bed, select one that does not contain alcohol, as alcohol can dry out the mouth and create an environment that is more hospitable to those nasty anaerobic bacteria.

Medical Conditions and Medications

Medical conditions and medications that reduce the production of saliva can contribute to bad breath. If you are affected by dry mouth, ask your dentist about products that increase saliva flow.

Some medical conditions that affect the digestive system can also affect the smell of your breath. For example, acid reflux or GERD, a condition involving stomach acid traveling back up the esophagus, often affect the way the breath smells. Many acid reflux sufferers find that their symptoms worsen when they lie down to sleep, which could explain why the condition contributes to bad morning breath. Your doctor can prescribe proton pump inhibitors or recommend lifestyle changes to control acid reflux.

When to See Your Dentist

If you suffer from bad morning breath despite having a good oral hygiene routine and avoiding smelly foods, then see your dentist. Bad breath can be a sign of serious oral health problems, such as gum disease.

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