We’ve all been there – waking up after a good night’s sleep with some not-so-good smelling breath. But have you ever wondered why you wake up in the morning with such a foul mouth?
The truth is, morning breath happens for several reasons, and some can indicate potential mouth problems that require a dentist to remedy.
- Reason Less Saliva
As you eat, and drink, and talk, and chew throughout the day, your mouth is constantly producing saliva, which helps rinse away food and other bacteria-forming substances. This isn’t the case when you sleep. During the night, your mouth actually reduces the amount of saliva it produces, meaning that any food particles or bacteria can’t get washed away. And remember, overtime, this bacteria can lead to plaque, tooth decay, and cavities.
What to do about it: Make sure you’re brushing and flossing twice a day, both in the morning and at night – this can help minimize the morning odor. Rinsing with mouthwash and scraping your tongue can also help, and it’s always important to keep up with your regular dental check-ups.
- Reason Snoring
If you snore, or have obstructive sleep apnea, you may also have worse morning breath. This is because snoring forces you to sleep with your mouth open as you try to get air. This dries out your mouth more quickly overnight, leading to unpleasant morning breath.
What to do about it: Snoring and sleep apnea have more implications than just bad breath. They could also be signaling some serious health problems, such as heart disease. That’s why it’s important to speak to your physician or a sleep specialist about potential treatment options. Nose strips, sleeping elevated or on your back, and skipping out on alcohol can also help.
- Reason Smoking
If you needed another reason to quit – consider this. Smoking dries out your mouth, reduces saliva production, and creates a breeding ground for the bacteria that causes morning breath.
Smoking also causes tooth discoloration, plaque and tartar buildup, and increases your risk for gum disease and oral cancer.
What to do about it: Kick the habit! Your oral, and overall, health will thank you. And if you need help getting started, talk to your doctor. He or she is an excellent resource for treatment and programs that make quitting easier.
And don’t forget… Bad morning breath is a potential indicator of serious oral health issues such as gingivitis and periodontitis. So be sure to communicate any concerns you may have to your dentist during your regular check-ups, so they can begin treating these conditions.