03 Jul What Causes “Morning Breath”
“Morning breath” is a natural phenomenon that most people will encounter throughout their lives, but one which can be treated by a dentist and in many cases at home with a good dental health regime.
Morning breath is caused by the slowdown of the production of saliva in our mouths, which in turn allows feeding bacteria to grow. Saliva is very important as it neutralises bacteria, while helping to break down food debris and remove them from the oral cavity through our swallowing reflex. [pullquote]Morning breath is caused by the slowdown of the production of saliva in our mouths, which in turn allows feeding bacteria to grow.[/pullquote]
Saliva is rich in oxygen which is a key element in neutralizing bacteria in the mouth, and as saliva production is reduced while we sleep, the lack of saliva allows bacteria to breed and grow. As we exhale during sleeping, our mouths become dry, further exacerbating the problem of morning breath and reducing the amount of saliva circulating in our mouths, lessening its cleansing effect.
Getting rid of morning breath is straightforward. Eating breakfast helps to stimulate the saliva glands to produce, while drinking water helps replenish moisture in the mouth. Brushing with a good toothpaste and flossing helps to remove food debris that through the actions of bacteria has begun to decompose in the mouth. It is this decomposition that is the cause of bad breath.
However, prevention is better than cure, so to avoid morning breath there are some things you can do to prevent it from happening – or at least lessen its effect.
Ensuring the mouth is as clean as possible before going to sleep – brushing, flossing and rinsing with a good non-alcohol based mouthwash – are all very important. These actions help remove food debris and plaque, lessening the bacteria’s source of sustenance and thus their effect. And, as these bacteria are acidic in nature, creating an alkaline environment in the mouth, such as gargling with baking soda, can inhibit their growth.
Also avoid where possible breathing through your mouth, as this will speed up the rate at which the saliva dries up. You may also inhale other agitates such as dust, which can also dry out your mouth.
For really stubborn cases of morning breath, however, it’s worthwhile speaking to our experienced dental team in Dallas Texas who can often provide solutions such as strong mouthwashes, or may seek to investigate any underlying problems that may be the cause of severe morning breath. Call 972-458-2464 for more information.