Does this sound familiar? You wake up in the morning and quickly cover your mouth with your hand so your partner doesn’t get a whiff of your bad breath. Morning breath, also known as 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. When you sleep, your mouth dries out and odor-producing bacteria grow. When you sleep, your normal flow of saliva decreases.
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, she adds. In both situations, your mouth is even more prone to drying out, setting the stage for 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 — your natural mouth rinse — 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. Add this to your list of reasons to quit smoking.
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 odor-causing bacteria in your mouth.
How to Treat Bad Breath
If you’re one of the 65 percent of Americans with halitosis, there’s good news: Bad breath is treatable.
Brush. Odor-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.
After you brush, be sure to not eat or drink anything else.
Also, when you brush your teeth, brush your tongue too. Another favorite repository for odor-causing bacteria is the back of your tongue. Majority of your bad breath is caused by bacteria left on your tongue.
Floss. Brushing alone won’t remove the food particles that can become stuck between your teeth and gums. Flossing is just as important to your routine as brushing.
Rinse. Mouthwash will get rid of the odor but only temporarily. Cram suggests that when you are buying mouthwash to kill the germs that can cause bad breath, you look for one that has a seal of approval from the American Dental Association. A quick swish won’t do it. If the directions say rinse for 30 seconds, then rinse for 30 seconds.
If you feel as though your morning breath is cause for concern, contact your dentist for an appropriate course of action.