why does breath stink in the morning

Stinky morning breath--it happens to everyone. Bad breath comes with the sun, even when you brushed and flossed your teeth before bed and regardless of what you ate the previous day. Foul morning breath results from natural processes while you sleep. Waking with minty-fresh breath may be unrealistic, but you can help control the factors that lead to morning breath. Bacteria naturally present in the mouth cause morning breath, says Dentist. net. The mouth contains a variety of bacteria that begin the digestive process. During the day, saliva and normal mouth movements from talking and chewing irrigate the mouth and wash away debris. Saliva production dwindles during sleep, drying the mouth and lowering the available oxygen. Anaerobic bacteria, that is, bacteria that cannot live in the presence of oxygen, flourish in dry mouths. These bacteria digest proteins lingering in the mouth from food debris caught between teeth, saliva, mucus and other cellular materials. The breakdown of the proteins creates sulfur gas and, consequently, bad breath. The foul-smelling gas produced during sleep dissipates once saliva production resumes, writes F. L. Suarez and colleagues in a study published the БJournal of Dental Research. Б Their study measured gases present in the breath of eight healthy adults on awakening and for several hours afterwards. Three types of sulfur gas compose morning breath, most commonly hydrogen sulfate, although the amounts of gas vary from person to person. Snoring and mouth breathing increase mouth dryness and worsen morning breath. Once saliva increases on awakening, the researchers write, other breath-freshening techniques make little difference in dispelling morning breath.


Regardless of whether the study participants brushed their teeth, used mouthwash, ate breakfast or simply drank a glass of water, sulfur gases decrease at similar rates during the first hour the participants were awake. Toothbrushing has minimal effect on morning breath, Suarez concludes, but a hydrogen peroxide rinse is more effective. You cannot eliminate morning breath because it is a simple function of reduced saliva and a temporary proliferation of a specific type of bacteria. Morning breath can be reduced with good oral hygiene, however, suggests the OraMD website. Removing plaque through regular brushing, flossing and professional cleanings reduces the debris on which anaerobic bacteria feed. Tooth decay and gum disease caused by improper dental hygiene encourage bacteria and add to the problem, says MayoClinic. com. Alcohol and certain medications cause mouth dryness and will worsen morning breath. Bad breath, especially in the mornings, rarely signals an underlying disease, notes Dentist. net. Consult your health-care provider if you notice a sudden increase in bad breath or if you develop a fever. The presence of phlegm contributes to morning breath and may be a sign of an infection.
Does this sound familiar? You wake up in the morning and quickly cover your mouth with your hand so your partner doesnБt get a whiff of your bad breath. Morning breath, halitosis Б whatever you call it, it can be unpleasant and it probably isn't the way you want to greet your partner, or the day. БEveryone has morning breath to some degree,Б says Sally J. Cram, DDS, a periodontist in the Washington, D. C. , area and a consumer adviser for the American Dental Association.


HereБs the simple reason why: When you sleep, your mouth dries out. When your mouth dries out, odor-producing bacteria proliferate. БWhen you sleep, your normal flow of decreases,Б Dr. Cram explains. БThatБs why your breath can be worse in the morning. Б If you snore or breathe through your mouth at night, youБre more likely to have bad breath in the morning than those who donБt, she adds. In both situations, your mouth is even more prone to drying out, setting the stage for bacteria to grow. Other Causes of Bad Breath Some medications can cause your mouth to become dry overnight, worsening your halitosis. ThatБs why older people, who are often on many medications, frequently find their breath more unpleasant in the morning. Smokers also may find they have bad morning breath. Smoking not only causes your saliva Б your natural mouth rinse Б to dry up but also can raise the temperature of your mouth, making it a breeding ground for that dreaded bacteria that causes bad breath. Add this to your list of reasons to quit smoking. , too, can lead to bad breath. The mucus that drips down the back of your throat becomes a food source for bacteria. Should your postnasal drip become infected, it can put more odor-causing bacteria in your mouth. How to Treat Bad Breath If youБre one of the 65 percent of Americans with, thereБs good news: Bad breath is treatable. Brush. Odor-causing bacteria accumulate between your teeth and on your tongue, so practicing good dental hygiene will do a lot to improve your morning breath.


When you brush, be sure to do so for at least two minutes, not the 35 or 40 seconds that many people do. After you brush, go directly to bed! БDonБt eat or drink anything so youБre not leaving food in your mouth,Б Cram says. Also, when you brush your teeth, brush your tongue too. Another favorite repository for odor-causing bacteria is the back of your tongue. YouБll notice your breath is fresher in the morning if you brush your tongue before you go to bed. БEighty-five percent of bad breath comes from the tongue,Б says New York dentist Irwin Smigel, DDS, the president and founder of the American Society for Dental Aesthetics. БIt really helps tremendously to use a tongue cleanser before you go to sleep, or anytime during the day. Б Floss. Brushing alone wonБt remove the food particles that can become stuck between your teeth and gums. Б is as important as brushing," says Kimberly Harms, DDS, a dentist in Farmington, Minn. , and a spokeswoman for the American Dental Association. Rinse. Mouthwash will get rid of the odor but only temporarily. Cram suggests that when you are buying mouthwash to kill the germs that can cause bad breath, you look for one that has a seal of approval from the American Dental Association. A quick swish wonБt do it. If the directions say rinse for 30 seconds, then rinse for 30 seconds. БThe mouth rinse has to be in there long enough to kill the bacteria,Б Dr. Harms advises. БRinse for five to ten seconds, youБre not getting the full effect. The trick is you have to follow directions. Б Do you have a health head-scratcher? , and we may answer your question in a future column!

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