What causes morning breath?

Morning breath, especially when it’s intense, can be off-putting to those around you but can also be a sign of more going on below the surface. Someone close to you may have pointed it out or you happened to notice it yourself and are taking steps to shield others from your breath. It can be an embarrassing problem to have, but once you understand the root causes you can easily take steps towards addressing morning breath.

Causes of Morning Breath

In medicine, bad breath is known as halitosis and is more common than you might think. It’s estimated that 80 million people in the United States are dealing with this chronic form of bad breath. People who brush, floss, and make regular trips to see their dentist are less likely to develop halitosis than those who do not. Halitosis can also sometimes be caused by certain medications, persistent dry mouth, and breathing mostly through the mouth instead of through the nose. Even if those things don’t necessarily apply to you, eating certain foods in the morning can also cause it. Morning breath can also be caused by a lack of saliva in the mouth. When you’re awake, saliva breaks down food particles, preventing bacteria from growing. When it comes time to sleep though, your body naturally begins to slow saliva production, and bacteria is able to grow. The bacteria produces what are known as volatile sulfur compounds which cause a foul odor in your mouth. There’s a chance that if you wake up with morning breath you may tend to breathe with your mouth open during sleep. 

Bad Breath Can be Serious

Bad breath goes far beyond being an annoyance or an embarrassing thing; it can also be a sign of underlying periodontal disease or diseases of the gums. Research indicates that there is a connection between periodontal disease and health concerns such as stroke and heart disease. Bacteria of the mouth, when it becomes even more plentiful, can even have a hand in causing oral cancer and Alzheimer’s. Your dentist can examine your teeth and gums and give personalized recommendations on how to attain better oral health.

Tackling Bad Breath

Tackling bad breath, particularly bad morning breath, begins with your oral hygiene. If you’re experiencing bad breath in the morning, then you’ll want to ensure that you’re doing everything you can to clean your teeth before bed. Flossing can help to scrape away tartar and food particles which can build up and cause bacteria to form. Brushing also helps to remove food particles and keep your teeth clean. It’s important to also incorporate flossing into your routine as flossing helps to remove pockets of food that brushing can’t reach. You’ll also want to make sure you’re cleaning your tongue, which can be done with a tongue scraper, a toothbrush, or even a spoon. If your tongue is covered in a white film, that indicates you may have bad breath. You can remove the film by gently scraping your tongue with the scraper or brushing your tongue with your toothbrush. If you’re still having issues getting rid of bad breath even after following these recommendations, talk to your dentist to see what other treatment options may be right for you.

Contact Verber Family Dentistry if you have any questions or concerns about your breath.


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