Treating and Preventing Morning Breath

Treating and Preventing Morning Breath

Almost everyone has some issues with morning breath but some have it worse than others. Some factors cause that but the thing to remember is that morning breath is both treatable and preventable, at least to some degree.

Why Morning Breath Happens

Our bodies slow down when we sleep and that includes saliva production. Saliva is an important part of oral health because it flushes out food particles and bacteria that get stuck in your mouth. When it decreases at night, it leaves these odor-causing particles left to build up. You wake up with a dragon’s breath that can be highly pungent.

Those people who sleep with their mouths open will find they will experience worse morning breath than others. Not only has their saliva production decreased but the airflow into the mouth all night dries it out, causing more bacteria buildup. The problem is similar to those who snore.

People with diabetes are also going to have more problems with morning breath. That’s because they typically have dry mouth anyway and further reduction in saliva overnight makes the problem worse.

Another reason for morning breath, which can be occasional or chronic, is sinus or breathing issues. Sinus problems result from bacteria in the sinuses or nasal cavities. That can drain into the throat with bacteria causing terrible morning breath.

Those with respiratory or sinus issues are prone to sleeping with their mouths open.

Chronic morning breath can be a signal of an undiagnosed medical condition. Periodontal disease, which is gum inflammation, can cause bad breath because bacteria are actively growing there.

Other serious conditions can contribute to halitosis, or chronic bad breath including stomach issues, autoimmune disorders, and problems with lungs, kidneys, or liver.

It Can Be Worse

The type or extent of odor you have from your morning breath can also depend on what you eat and drink the night before. Your stomach works with chemicals to digest food and drink and, sometimes, the odor from that process comes out as morning breath. It can be worse if you have problems with acid reflux or heartburn.

Foods that add to bad morning breath are those with sulfur compounds. Most people understand how garlic and onions can top the list but you can add others like peppers, radishes, coffee, and alcohol.

Coffee and alcohol affect morning breath in two ways. First, both dry out the mouth. Second, they both create a space in your mouth that’s optimal for bacteria growth.

Treating and Preventing Morning Breath

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to both treat and prevent morning breath. The easiest place to start is with food. We talk a lot about what not to eat to avoid bad breath but there are some foods you should eat to prevent it.

Drink water. Water will help flush out food debris and bacteria. Plus, drinking water first thing in the morning will help digestion. It’s a habit the Japanese have to remain healthy.

Eat foods with Vitamin C. This isn’t always citrus foods. Red peppers and broccoli have tons of Vitamin C. This vitamin makes it harder for bacteria in your mouth to grow and thrive. Eating raw, more abrasive foods, like carrots and celery will help naturally scrub your teeth.

Eat yogurt regularly. We know that yogurt has good bacteria that contribute to gut health, which also prevents morning breath. However, good bacteria also lowers the amount of sulfide compounds in the mouth. It is also a great source of vitamin D, which reduces mouth bacteria.

Eat vitamin D foods. Things like milk, salmon, and eggs will make it harder for mouth bacteria to grow.

Spice your food. Herbs and spices, like parsley, can stop mouth odor. Other herbs that do this include cloves, fennel seeds, and anise.

Other Ways to End Morning Breath

The secret to lowering the toxic odor of morning breath lies with oral hygiene, particularly your nighttime routine. Be sure to brush your teeth and floss. Flossing at night gets rid of all the food particles left after the evening meal.

Rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash or rinse at night. Most do it in the morning but doing it at night also will help with morning breath.

Use probiotics to reduce stomach acid. You may not feel terribly uncomfortable from slight stomach acid but probiotics will keep it from creating an odor that ends up as morning breath.

See your dentist twice a year. Getting dental cleanings regularly will not only help keep your teeth and gums healthy but will cut back on bacteria that cause morning breath. It will also help prevent gum disease which is a contributor to bad breath.

Those who are concerned about their chronic bad breath should talk to their dentist or doctor. Both can help evaluate to see if there is an undiagnosed condition.


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