Your daily routine starts the same way each day: turn off the alarm (or snooze for 10 more minutes), take a deep stretch and begin compiling a mental to-do list. All the while, you may be aware of that foul taste in your mouth: morning breath. There's no need to feel embarrassed about it as this is something that everyone has probably dealt with. Luckily, if you know the causes and how to fix them, you'll be well on your way to a more pleasant morning!
Bad Breath (Morning Breath) Causes
According to the HealthXchange (SingHealth's health and lifestyle portal), bad breath, also referred to as halitosis, originates mostly from bacteria in the mouth.The mouth is a haven for food particles to gather. They can collect between teeth, along gum surfaces and on the tongue's surface. Natural bacteria found in the mouth then break down those particles, resulting in the release of chemicals. Those chemicals have a pungent odour. In order to solve a problem, start by learning about its origin.
Morning breath can stem from multiple causes, as noted by SingHealth:
- Food. In addition to leftover food particles in the mouth, certain types of food can cause smelly breath. Garlic, onions and spices enter the bloodstream once they're digested. They're then carried to your lungs where they have an adverse effect on your breath, especially if you eat foods late at night before going to sleep.
- Dry mouth. Saliva is your friend when it comes to cleansing the mouth. Saliva breaks down bacteria and washes away those remaining particles. Also known as xerostomia, dry mouth decreases saliva production. As saliva production naturally decreases overnight as you sleep, this is the reason why so many people wake up with bad breath.
- Neglecting oral care. In addition to removing those pesky food particles with proper brushing and flossing, good oral care is important as disregarding it can lead to periodontal disease.
- Tobacco. There's a reason smokers have lousy breath. They're also more prone to gum disease because of smoking.
- Medications. Certain medications result in dry mouth. Others are broken down by the body and release foul chemicals in your breath.
With a little ingenuity and diligence, morning breath is easily conquered. Some tips provide quick relief while some are preventative.
- Brush. Once you're up, make brushing the first thing you do. Your toothbrush will eliminate any left-behind particles contributing to bad breath.
- Rinse. If you prefer to wait until after breakfast to brush, give your mouth a quick rinse first. Not only will it freshen up your mouth, but also fight plaque that targets teeth and gums.
- Go green. Keep your refrigerator stocked with fresh parsley. A quick chew on just a small piece does wonders on smelly breath.
- Break bad habits. One way to avoid morning breath altogether is to avoid things that cause it. That means watching what you eat at night, kicking the tobacco habit and keeping your body well-hydrated. If you regularly wake up thirsty at night, keep a glass of water next to your bed for you to take small sips from it.
No matter what time of day, bad breath is bad news for your mouth. One constant in the fight against it is developing good oral care habits. That means brushing at least twice a day and following up with dental floss. And remember to book those regular dental check-ups too. Beating bad breath is enough to make anyone wake up smiling.