It can be the worst part about waking up. You wake up thinking about sweet dreams and then you smell something sour coming out of your mouth. The dreaded morning breath. It’s a bad way to start the day. But how can you fix it? And what causes it in the first place?
Like most other oral health issues, you can deal with morning breath by adopting good dental hygiene habits. At Imagine Dental, we know that sticking to those good habits on a daily basis will pay off in the long run. If you want to live your life with morning breath in your rearview mirror, watch out for these four things and follow our recommendations on how to freshen up your morning breath.
Related: 3 Surprising Causes of Bad Breath
The Main Culprit
What terrible magic happens when we go to bed with fresh breath and wake up eight hours later with breath that would make a mint plant wilt? The answer is simple: Saliva. When we sleep, our mouth produces a lot less saliva.
When it comes to oral health, saliva is the unsung MVP. Saliva is responsible for naturally rinsing the mouth, which clears out the bacteria that we naturally produce in our mouth. When saliva production goes down, that bacteria starts building and causes the dreaded morning breath to kick in.
If you want to fight morning breath, the best thing you can do for yourself is to stay well-hydrated. Drink lots of water! If you know you’re going to be drinking alcohol, make sure to drink more water than you normally would. Alcohol can seriously dehydrate you. It’s fine to celebrate TGIF, but you don’t want to wake up the next day with your breath smelling like a garbage disposal. You’ll want to avoid drinking coffee before bedtime for similar reasons.
If you breath in through your mouth while sleeping, train yourself to use your nose instead. Mouth-breathing dries your mouth out FAST. You should also make sure not to skip on brushing your teeth before bed: This will freshen your breath and help cut down on the amount of bacteria that’s in your mouth.
Other Causes of Morning Breath
Mouthwash can make your breath minty-fresh, but there’s a catch: It dries out your mouth. The ones that contain alcohol are especially bad for this reason. Using it in the morning is fine, as your body will quickly start producing saliva to counteract that dryness and the mintiness of the mouthwash will help kill your morning breath. But you should avoid using mouthwash before going to bed.
Garlic and Onions
Garlic and onions are delicious and hard to avoid: They’re the building blocks for many a savoury dish. But they also contain large and potent amounts of sulphur compounds, which get absorbed into the bloodstream and released when you exhale. Because the smell is coming from your bloodstream, brushing and chewing gum won’t be able to get rid of the odor. It will only mask it to a certain extent. Combine this potent odor with the dry mouth one gets in the morning and you’ve got a recipe for catastrophic morning breath.
Don’t forget to brush your tongue! Your tongue is a breeding ground for bad breath bacteria. Make sure you brush your tongue as part of your daily dental hygiene routine unless you want your tongue bacteria to team-up with the rest of your mouth bacteria.
Related: 5 Things You Never Knew About Plaque
Do you want to freshen up your morning breath? Looking for ways to brighten up your smile and make your teeth strong and healthy? Give Imagine Dental a call at 480-893-7733.