FAQ: What’s the Main Cause of Morning Breath?

Sean Ky DDS Dentist PasadenaWe’ve all been there. You wake up in the morning, roll out of bed, give your partner a morning kiss — and bam! You’re blasted by morning breath.

No one is immune to it. All of us wake up with it at some point or another.

In fact,  no amount of brushing, flossing, or mouthwash the night before can prevent the unpleasantness of getting out of bed with bad breath.

Why is Bad Breath in the Morning So Common?

Because all of us enter a “rest and digest” mode when we sleep. Saliva production dramatically decreases. And since saliva is the mouth’s natural mouthwash, morning halitosis is inevitable.

Bacteria found on teeth in the crevices and on the taste buds of the tongue, break down the food particles, which produce sulfur compounds. It is actually these sulfur compounds which give our breath a bad odor. During the day, your saliva helps to wash away bacteria and food particles, and dissolves the foul smelling sulfur compounds.

How You Sleep Affects Your Breath

The way you sleep can also affect the intensity and frequency of morning breath. Snoring or breathing through the mouth at night can increase the likelihood of bad breath. Most mouth breathers sleep with their mouth open, causing their mouth to get dryer and therefore letting breath-causing bacteria flourish.

Preventing Bad Breath

Although there is no outright, foolproof prevention for morning breath, there are things you can do to reduce its affect.

Brushing, flossing, and scraping your tongue before bed helps clean out the mouth and get rid of food particles so the bacteria have less “food” to munch on.

How to Tell If You Have Bad Breath

The first step to evaluating if you have bad breath is to see if you have it. Check out the back of your tongue in the mirror. A pink, shiny tongue indicates fresh breath. However, if your tongue is thick with white film, it’s likely your breath is foul.

Another method is to lick your (clean) wrist. Let it dry for a few seconds, and then smell your wrist. If you detect an odor, it is an indicator that you have bad breath.

You can request us to perform a quick, easy, and painless test of the bacteria in your mouth to determine if you have bad breath. Until then, stay fresh and keep smiling!

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