WE ALL KNOW THAT FEELING… you wake up in the morning to the sun shining, birds chirping, and happily lean over to your significant other to say hello! Instead, you are greeted by the horrible smell of morning breath. Or maybe you run into friends after work and suddenly become conscious of that bad taste in your mouth. Have you ever been at the gym in the early morning and smelled bad breath from the guy on the treadmill behind you? We’ve all been there! Unfortunately, bouts of halitosis, or bad breath, are pretty much inevitable. Today we’re going to explain why that is, what causes that nasty smell and what you can do to keep bad breath at bay!
It All Starts With Bacteria
We’re not the only ones who need to eat to stay alive, so do the bacteria living in our mouths. When they snack on whatever’s left behind from our last meal, they release foul-smelling odors as a by-product, causing bad breath.
What you can do:
- Clean your teeth after every meal! Brush, floss, and pop in a piece of sugar-free gum for good measure. This will eliminate food debris and bacteria from your mouth and prevent bad breath. A clean mouth is a fresh mouth!
- Keep in mind that certain foods and beverages can make bad breath more likely, such as sugary foods and drinks, garlic, onions, coffee, and alcohol.
- Choose breath-friendly foods and beverages! Water washes away food debris and increases saliva flow in your mouth, protecting your teeth and mouth from bacteria. Healthy food choices such as carrots, celery, and apples are high in water content and actually work as a natural toothbrush, scrubbing plaque bacteria from the surfaces of your teeth.
Good Oral Hygiene Can Reduce Morning Breath
Morning breath seems to be an especially pungent offender. Why is this? It’s mainly because of dry mouth. During the day, saliva works to wash away food debris and keep bacteria in check. When we sleep at night, however, our saliva production goes down, causing our mouths to become dry and allowing bacteria to proliferate. If you sleep with your mouth open, it can be even worse.
Sonicare the toothbrush company is coming out with a halitosis meter for individuals. It will come to the USA in the fall of 2017. You can blow into it and see if you have bad breath. If you register a high numeric value you can take action, brush teeth, mouthwash, rinse with water, etc. Then test again and see if it is below the offensive score. The meter is small smaller than an asthma inhaler and can be carried around in a pocket. You could take it with you and check your breath before an important meeting or before that interview for the new job.
What you can do to reduce morning breath:
- To make your morning breath less offensive, follow a good oral hygiene regimen. By brushing and flossing your teeth before bed, you’re giving bacteria less food to munch on, which will help your breath be better in the morning.
- In addition, we highly recommend cleaning your tongue by either brushing it or using a tongue scraper, since this is where most bad breath-causing bacteria are found. Another tip is to keep water by your bedside. When you wake up at night, take a drink! Keeping your mouth moist will combat the spread of those smelly bacteria.
- DON’T FORGET the gum! Remember chewing gum containing xylitol will help with bad breath. Dr. McOmie recommends keeping some Ice Breakers Ice Cubes on hand for after meals when you can’t be somewhere to brush. It not only fights bad breath but also fights cavities.
Everything that fights bad breath also fights tooth decay. If you keep bad breath at bay then you are probably going to remain cavity-free as well.
Bad Breath Can Be From Dental Disease
If the bad breath you are experiencing just seems to keep coming and it is not from your diet, you could have dental disease. Periodontal disease can cause a certain unique smell on a person’s breath. A decayed tooth can harbor those nasty sulfur-containing compounds and make your breath smell like rotten eggs. An abscessed tooth that needs a root canal or extraction can be a source of the smell. The good news is we can help! All of those things are correctable in usually one short visit to our Chattanooga dental office.
We’re Here For You
For the most part, bad breath is manageable. If you feel like your halitosis is severe, however, especially if you follow the steps above, it can be a sign of something more serious such as gum disease, diabetes, sinus problems, gastric reflux or liver or kidney disease. If this is the case, come in to see us so we can address the issue and find the proper solution. We are here to serve you!