Bad morning breath is a fairly common problem–so common, in fact, that many individuals assume it’s normal, natural and unavoidable. The usual response to this problem is for one to simply get up, brush their teeth, and go about their business. If it really bothers them (or their significant other) they may try some toothpastes that promise to reduce or eliminate bad morning breath. But before you resign yourself to the idea that this is “just the way it is”, take a moment to consider whether something you are (or aren’t) doing may be causing your bad morning breath.
Bad breath, or halitosis, is not a condition that simply occurs for no reason. Fortunately, this means that it can be prevented if one knows the reasons why it occurs and counters them. To that end, consider the following tips:
- Cut out caffeinated beverages. Consuming caffeinated coffee, teas and energy drinks can cause a reduction in saliva production and a dry mouth. This may not seem like too big a deal, but it actually is. Along with oral hygiene habits like brushing and flossing your teeth, saliva production is critical to good oral health. Saliva contains properties that allow it to fight the harmful oral bacteria that causes halitosis, so a reduced saliva production can result in bad morning breath. If you find it too difficult to completely eliminate your consumption of caffeinated beverages, try to at least reduce your intake and then ensure proper hydration by drinking your eight glasses of water every day.
- Quit smoking. It’s fairly common knowledge that smoking and bad breath go hand-in-hand. Smoking involves the combustion and inhalation of chemicals, and leaves behind tiny particles of these chemicals and smoke in your throat and your lungs. This can result in breath that smells and tastes unpleasantly. Furthermore, smoking can adversely affect your overall health, and so is a habit best dispensed with.
- Eat a nutritious breakfast, lunch and dinner. As mentioned earlier, a mouth that is free of saliva tends to have more harmful oral bacteria and therefore more unpleasant odor. One of the many things that stimulates healthy, natural saliva production is the consumption of nutritious food at meals and for snacks. Yogurt, eggs and apples are all wonderful options and will help to create fresh breath.
- Improve your brushing and flossing techniques. It’s easy to rush through brushing and flossing your teeth–especially if you’re in a hurry. You may think that as long as toothpaste is in your mouth, and is swished around in most places, it will get the job done. Brushing and flossing can be quite helpful in eliminating harmful oral bacteria and leftover food particles, but only if performed properly. Therefore no matter how short you feel you are on time, it’s important to take a couple of minutes to properly and carefully brush and floss your teeth. For an added bonus, you can brush your tongue and rinse your mouth with mouthwash.
- Consider your sleeping habits. If you don’t consume caffeine, you don’t smoke, you eat nutritiously and adhere to a strict oral hygiene regimen you may wonder why you still suffer from bad morning breath. The answer may lie in your sleeping habits–specifically whether you sleep with your mouth open. Breathing through your mouth is one of the quickest ways to dry it out, and sleeping that way for 7 to 10 hours at night can certainly cause your mouth to become a hotbed for harmful oral bacteria. A glass of water or a humidifier may be helpful, but if the problem seems severe you may want to consult your dentist to determine what solutions are available to you.
There are, of course, some other possible causes of bad morning breath, including cavities, oral infections, diabetes and liver and kidney issues. Therefore if you feel that you have persistent bad morning breath or if following the above tips fails to produce any change in your bad morning breath, you should contact your dentist, Dr. Saferin, right away. She can perform a thorough oral examination to help determine the cause of your bad breath and work together with you to find a workable solution.