Why Do We Really Have Bad Breath?

 You’re in a rush in the morning and you forget to brush your teeth. It doesn’t seem like a big deal until you realize that bad smell is following you around–it’s in your mouth. Many people wake up in the morning and realize they have bad breath–also known as halitosis. To some degree, everyone suffers from this condition. Why does it happen and what can we do?
You have morning breath because when you sleep your mouth dries out. Saliva is the bodies natural defense to bacteria in the mouth. So every time you go to sleep and dry out your mouth you open up room for odor-producing bacteria to grow. Your breath is much worse in the morning than it is all day long when you have a normal saliva production.

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. 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 prescription medicines cause your mouth to dry out even more as well, so older people who are on many medications may find themselves with extremely unpleasant breath in the morning.

Smokers may also find themselves with bad morning breath because smoking causes saliva to dry up and can raise the temperature of your mouth. A hotter mouth increases the chances of bacteria breeding, and these bacteria produce odors. This is just another reason to quit smoking for your dental health.

Allergies can also lead to bad breath. The mucus that drips down the back of your throat becomes a food source for bacteria. Should your nasal drip become infected, it can put more odor-causing bacteria in your mouth.

How to Treat Bad Breath

65% of Americans suffer for halitosis, but it is treatable, fortunately.

Brush your teeth. 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. Do a full brush for two minutes instead of the 30 to 45 seconds some people do. After you brush your teeth in the evening go straight to bed so you don’t put more bacteria causing foods in there. Also make sure to brush your tongue, which accumulates bacteria rapidly. It is estimated that 85% of bad breath comes from the tongue, so if you brush it in the evening you will find your breath cleaner in the morning.

Floss. Brushing alone won’t remove the food particles that can become stuck between your teeth and gums. Flossing is as important as brushing.

Rinse. Mouthwash can temporarily get rid of odors. When buying mouthwash to kill the germs that can cause bad breath, look for one that has a seal of approval from the American Dental Association. Also follow the directions–if it says rinse for 30 seconds be sure to follow this advice and not just take a quick swish.

If you suffer from bad breath or want more ways to get rid of the annoying smell in the morning, call our office so we can discuss different options for treating halitosis. Remember that brushing and flossing your teeth is the number one way to get rid of bad breath and have a clean smile.