Ever wonder why your breath smells bad after a night of sleep? Sure, you have just gone 8 hours without brushing your teeth, but, you also do that during your waking hours.
“Everyone has morning breath to some degree,” that is according to Sally J. Cram, DDS, a consumer adviser for the American Dental Association, and a periodontist in the Washington, D.C., area.
Here’s the reason why: When you sleep, your mouth dries out. And when your mouth dries out, odor-producing bacteria proliferate. “When you sleep, the normal flow of saliva decreases,” Dr. Cram explains. “This is the reason why your breath can be worse in the morning.”
If you breathe your mouth or snore at night, you are more likely to have bad breath in the morning, as compared to those who don’t, Dr. Crams adds. In both of these situations, your mouth is even more prone to drying out, thereby setting the stage for bacteria to grow.
Learn the common causes of halitosis, and how you can best fight that sour morning mouth.
Other Causes of Bad Breath:
Some medications can cause your mouth to become dry overnight, therefore worsening your halitosis. That is why older people, who are often on various medications, frequently find their breath more unpleasant in the morning.
Allergies, can also lead to bad breath. The mucus that drips down at the back of your throat becomes a food source for bacteria. If your postnasal drip become infected, it can put more odor-causing bacteria into your mouth.
Also, smokers may find they have bad morning breath. Smoking not only causes your saliva, whici is your natural mouth rinse to dry up, but, can also raise the temperature of your mouth, thereby making it a breeding ground for that dreaded bacteria that causes bad breath. You can add this to your list of reasons to quit smoking.
How to Treat Bad Breath:
If you are among the 65% of Americans with halitosis, there’s good news: Bad breath is treatable.
Odor-causing bacteria accumulate on your tongue and between your teeth, therefore practicing good dental hygiene will do a lot to help improve your morning breath.
When you brush, be sure to do so for at least 2 minutes, and not the 35-40 seconds that many people do.
After you brush, go to sleep! “Do not eat or drink anything so you are not leaving food in your mouth,” according to Cram.
Also, upon brushing your teeth, brush your tongue too. Another repository for odor-causing bacteria is the back of your tongue. You woll notice your breath is fresher in the morning, if you brush your tongue before going to bed.
“85% percent of bad breath comes from the tongue,” as per New York dentist Irwin Smigel, DDS, the president and founder of the American Society for Dental Aesthetics. “It helps tremendously to use a tongue cleanser before going to sleep, or anytime during the day.“
Mouthwash will help get rid of the odor but only temporarily. Cram suggests that when you use mouthwash to kill the germs that can cause bad breath, choose one that has a seal of approval from the American Dental Association.
A quick swish will no do. If the direction say rinse for 30 seconds, then rinse for 30 seconds. “The mouth rinse has to be in there long enough to kill the bacteria,” according to Dr. Harms. “Rinse for 5-10 seconds, you are not getting the full effect. The trick is you have to follow directions.”
Brushing alone will not remove the food particles that can get stuck between your gums and teeth. “Flossing is also as important as brushing,” as per Kimberly Harms, DDS, a dentist in Farmington, Minn., and a spokeswoman for the American Dental Association.
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