Do you find yourself watching the toothpaste/mouthwash commercials, and take in everything that’s shared there, believing that promise to help you get rid of morning breath and wonder how it would feel to be minty fresh? You are not alone! Most of us or a majority has morning breath, chronic or occasional. And it is a natural reaction that occurs in the mouth.
The what and why about morning breath
Morning breath is a form of halitosis. To save you the trouble of looking up what halitosis is, here is what it means: Halitosis is a condition that causes a foul smell in your breath, noticeably unpleasant. In simple terms, it is bad breath. The normal flow of saliva, which is responsible for fighting off odor producing bacteria, is reduced while you are asleep and your mouth dries out which creates an atmosphere for the bacteria to make merry in your mouth.
Saliva- the daytime hero!
The process works like this: We eat; the bacteria starts breaking down all the chemicals left behind from the food. But before it creates any smelly damage, the saliva works its magic! It washes away all such bacteria, protecting our teeth, gums and of course keeps foul smell at bay.
So far so good, right? But the not so good part begins as we sleep. The saliva decides to call it a day too. Our brain thinks there is no food in our mouth and makes the salivary gland slow down which in turn causes dry mouth. And as you already know, dry mouth equals morning breath.
The other culprits
- Medications– Certain medicines can make your mouth extra dry overnight, making your morning breath stink.
- Snoring– When you snore or breathe through your mouth, the air flows through your mouth making the tongue, mouth, and throat dry. This makes for a perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
- Food– Onion and garlic- the most sought-after ingredients! Sure it makes food taste amazing, but the after effects are definitely unpleasant. Sleeping sans brushing after eating dinner containing onion/garlic worsens morning breath.
- Alcohol & Smoking– Heavy alcohol consumption causes dry mouth. Smoking raises the temperature of your mouth and dries up the saliva, preventing it from killing bacteria. One more reason to quit the deadly habit, eh?
- Dairy– Dairy products are high in protein and generate high quantities of amino acids, and bacteria feed on this.
Morning breath is embarrassing, no matter what the reason behind it is. If you suffer from a chronic bad breath problem, it is best to consult your dentist so the actual underlying reason could be detected and treated accordingly. If you think your morning breath is because of one of the reasons mentioned above, do the following:
- Pay attention to oral hygiene– Brush twice a day, floss at least every alternate day and don’t forget to clean your tongue with a tongue cleaner properly.
- Rinse- Mouthwashes help a great deal in getting rid of bad odor and kills germs as well.
- Stay hydrated-Drinking water before going to bed helps.
- Drink responsibly and quit smoking- Morning breath isn’t the only reason you should be taking this great decision.