Here is a very common scenario that has happened even to the best of us. You wake up from a long, good night’s sleep and stretch your arms, blinking as rise and adjust to the sunlight beaming through the window. You let out a big yawn. And your breath is far from a breeze of morning dew. The unpleasantness of morning breath leads you to quickly cover your mouth when you pass your loved ones in the morning. You realize no amount of brushing, flossing, or mouthwash the night before seems to mask the overwhelming odour from your mouth when you wake up.
We know that there is nothing worse than that and trust us, we’ve all been there. In fact, it has been claimed that the vast majority of adults experience bad breath on waking in the morning, though in most cases the odour disappears over time. Many people are afflicted with having bad breath and struggle to eliminate it on a regular basis. It happens to even the very best of us, and is a gentle reminder about the importance of oral hygiene. Everyone experiences morning breath now and again, it’s a fact of life. But if some mornings you find that your breath is so bad that you’re scaring your pets, maybe you should take some action.
What causes bad breath?
Often times, bad breath in the morning is caused by a build-up of bacteria in your mouth, which can cause inflammation and give off odours and gases. When we’re awake, saliva tends to wash away most of the odour-causing bacteria in our mouths. This means that there is less removal of bacteria, less oxygen in the mouth, and less tongue movement. At night, you don’t produce a whole lot of saliva while you sleep, which means the bacteria don’t get washed away. During the course of one night’s sleep you can manufacture two or more generations of new bacteria which in turn creates the bad breath. Occasionally, bad breath is due to something in the lungs or gastrointestinal tract, or to a systemic infection. Bad breath can also occur if you haven’t brushed your teeth recently. In addition to poor oral health, there are medical conditions that can be the culprit of bad breath. Some health problems, such as sinus infections or diabetes, can also cause bad breath. And sometimes it just comes down to what you ate for dinner.
How to prevent bad breath in the morning?
Having good oral hygiene is the key to combating bad breath. Make sure to brush and floss after every meal to help reduce the bacteria in your mouth that causes bad breath. You may not be cleaning the teeth thoroughly if you do not brush them long enough or in the right manner. The best way to prevent bad breath is to brush teeth twice daily for at least two minutes with fluoride toothpaste to remove plaque, limit the frequency, and amount of sugary food and drinks consumed. Essentially, two minutes is the right amount of time to brush your teeth. If you don’t brush your teeth long enough, you may not be getting your teeth clean enough. If you leave behind bacteria on the teeth after brushing, it can lead to serious problems. Although it is crucial to pay attention to the amount of time you spend when brushing, it is even more significant to ensure that all the surfaces of the teeth and mouth are clean. Scientists suspect that some bacteria, particularly bacteria located on the top of your tongue closest to your throat, actually protect against foul-smelling breath. So, make sure you brush your tongue too!
Flossing isn’t just for dislodging food wedged between your teeth. Regular flossing may also reduce gum disease and bad breath by removing plaque that forms along the gum line. Holding the floss tautly between your thumbs and index fingers, slide it gently up-and-down between your teeth. Gently slide the floss between the teeth in a zigzag motion. Slide floss up and down against the tooth surface and under the gum line. Floss each tooth thoroughly with a clean section of floss.
To help combat bad morning breath, make sure you eat a healthy and balanced diet. This is because food if ingested and digested into your blood stream and then expelled from your lungs when you breathe. What you drink can cause bad breath, too. Consuming an acidic beverage, including soda pop, coffee or alcohol, will release compounds into your bloodstream that will, in turn, release odours through your breath. If you happen to wake up at all during the night, consider keeping a glass of water by your bed. This way, when you stir you can help to lubricate your mouth by taking a few sips of water.