What Causes Morning Breath, and 6 Ways to Get Rid of It
If you’ve ever wondered why characters in romantic movies never seem to have morning breath, you’re not alone. Most of us are familiar with the smell that comes from your mouth as soon as you wake up. And even though many may feel embarrassed about it, everyone experiences bad morning breath from time to time. And as it turns out, some of your everyday habits may be responsible for it.
We at Bright Side agree that waking up to bad breath isn’t a fun way to start your day. So we decided to find out why your breath gets bad and what we can do about it.
What causes morning breath
Your dentist probably warned you that if you don’t brush and floss daily, it can make your breath smell. But there are actually more things that can cause less-than-fresh breath aside from poor oral hygiene.
- Dry mouth: Saliva washes away bacteria that cause bad breath, and because we have less saliva when we sleep, many of us wake up to morning breath.
- Certain foods: Our eating habits affect our breath, and while we can benefit from food like onions and garlic in many ways, they’re also to blame for that not-so-minty-fresh breath in the morning.
- Some health conditions: Many people suffering from acid reflux, a condition that causes a backward flow of stomach contents, often experience bad breath.
How to get rid of morning breath
1. Don’t use mouthwash after every brush.
While it’s true that mouthwash will make your breath smell fresh for a short time, it can also dry out your mouth. Most mouthwashes contain alcohol, and it affects your mouth’s natural production of saliva. Because the body typically produces less saliva at night, dead cells that accumulate on your tongue and gums don’t get removed and cause you to wake up to bad breath.
2. Don’t sleep with your mouth open.
Many of us breathe through our mouths while we sleep, and this also can cause dryness and encourage bacteria to settle. In fact, mouth-breathing can even lead to dental decay and bleeding gums, in addition to chronic bad breath. This happens because when we breathe through the mouth, it affects the oral pH balance and changes the types of bacteria in our oral environment. Some dentists even suggest mouth-taping as a way to solve this problem.
3. Give oil pulling a try.
This method of breath-freshening originated in India and has been proven to whiten your teeth and improve your dental health. Take a tablespoon of oil and swish it around your mouth for 15-20 minutes. Bacteria that cause bad breath adhere to the oil and dissolve in it. You can use any oil, but many people prefer coconut or olive oil due to the pleasant taste.
4. Be careful with coffee.
While many of us can’t imagine facing the day before we get our morning cup of coffee, our beloved beverage might be to blame for our morning breath. Coffee has a drying effect, which causes the body to produce less saliva. Many people also add milk or cream to their coffee, and dairy products often trigger bad breath.
5. Don’t forget to brush your tongue.
Much like your teeth, your tongue can also harbor bacteria that make your breath smell. If you don’t brush your tongue, bacteria in your mouth will multiply, causing you to wake up to bad breath. You don’t necessarily need a tongue scraper to clean your tongue — a regular soft-bristled toothbrush can get the job done.
6. Notice how you breathe.
You may not even realize that you’re breathing through your mouth throughout the day, but this habit can cause your breath to smell. Although the body typically produces more saliva during the day, mouth-breathing will still dry out your oral environment. In addition to bad breath, this habit can lead to various diseases, such as tooth cavities and ear infections.
Do you know any other ways to get rid of morning breath that you can share with other Bright Siders?