Does kissing your spouse in the morning send a shiver up your spine because you suffer from morning breath? If you have bad breath in morning, you’re not alone. Most people have this problem, at least to some extent. It’s one of the most common complaints people have when they wake up in the morning. What causes morning breath and is there anything you can do to prevent it?
The fact that you suffer from morning breath doesn’t necessarily mean you have chronic halitosis and run the risk of offending people throughout the day. Bad breath in the morning is usually caused by the mouth drying out overnight allowing anaerobic bacteria to build up in the mouth. These bacteria can produce very unpleasant smelling chemicals that accumulate on your mouth and tongue giving rise to morning breath.
What causes the mouth to dry out when you’re sleeping?
When you go into sleep mode, your salivary glands use the opportunity to take a rest which means less saliva fills your mouth. Saliva is one of the best defenses against the foul smelling bacteria that cause morning breath. When saliva levels drop, bad breath in the morning is the inevitable result. This can be a particular problem for mouth breathers who sleep with their mouth open on a routine basis.
Although there’s not much you can do to motivate the salivary glands to pump out saliva while you sleep, there are simple steps you can take to lessen the impact of bad breath in the morning. One of the most important is to watch what you eat and drink the evening before. Drinking caffeine products can cause mouth dryness by contributing to dehydration and eating such offensive foods as garlic and onions becomes even more of a problem when saliva production drops. One important step to take is to drink several glasses of water before going to bed to reduce the risk of dehydration which can dry the mouth out further.
Another factor that frequently causes morning breath is the use of medications that cause mouth dryness. This is common with some anti-depressants, blood pressure medications, and antihistamines. Although you shouldn’t discontinue any of these medications without your doctor’s permission, you can ask your doctor about the possibility of switching to another medication that’s less drying to the mouth.
One of the simplest solutions for bad breath in the morning is to keep a pack of sugar-free gum or mints by the bed to stimulate the flow of saliva when you first wake up. As soon as you turn off your alarm, reach for the gum or mints and chew for several minutes. You’ll notice immediate improvement. After getting out of bed, drink a glass of water to further hydrate yourself and flush out some of the mouth bacteria.
Of course you’ll want to visit your dentist regularly to make sure your teeth and gums are health. Otherwise morning breath could turn into chronic halitosis. And you don’t want that.
Author Dr. Kristie
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