Morning breath is gross, isn’t it?
Everyone gets it, but some of us have a more … pronounced version than others.
It’s embarrassing, unpleasant and you’d really rather live without it. So what can you do about it?
To find out, we need to take a look at the cause.
The main cause is bacteria – nasty, huh? You see, overnight your body reduces the amount of saliva it produces and saliva helps reduce bacterial build up.
So less saliva equals a drier mouth, and bacteria love that environment. According to Dr Matthew Nejad a Dr Kyle Stanley, a dry mouth, “… allows bacteria to grow and produce volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs), which is what smells bad.”
Some people have other contributing factors such as sleeping with their mouth open, snoring or smoking. Certain medications, allergies, and gum disease can also contribute to the problem.
Here’s the bad news. There’s no actual cure. No foolproof, surefire, guaranteed method of preventing or fixing it.
The good news is that there is a lot you can do to help reduce its effect.
One of the most important steps is to minimise the bacteria in your mouth, particularly before you hit the hay. That means thoroughly brushing, flossing and scraping your tongue before going to bed.
Mouthwash can also help, although the effect is usually temporary. Some mouthwashes can also increase the problem – if they contain alcohol, you may find they make your mouth drier.
Some people notice that morning breath is worse when they’ve eaten certain pungent foods the night before (hello garlic, I’m talking to you!).
If you notice a correlation between what you’re eating and how your mouth feels in the morning you can modify your diet.
Minimise Morning Breath
Visiting your dentist regularly can also reduce the effect of morning breath. (Click to tweet). This is because regular check-ups help detect any physical problems such as mouth infections, gum disease or infected wisdom teeth.
The majority of people also produce enough plaque and tartar build up in six months that it needs to be removed. So, regular scaling and cleaning by your hygienist also reduces the number of bacteria that builds up on your teeth.
If you’re concerned about morning breath, discuss it with your dentist at your next appointment. While you can’t prevent it entirely, you may be able to reduce it.