Even with an excellent oral hygiene routine, you are still likely to experience morning breath. Having morning breath can make you feel self-conscious, but knowing most people experience it and that it’s not permanent should put you at ease.
What exactly causes morning breath?
The actual smell from morning breath comes from the accumulation of volatile sulfur compounds made by certain anaerobic bacteria. This bacteria can make up 80 to 95 percent of all bad breath. Morning breath is a result of oral dryness and the lack of saliva being produced in our mouth while we sleep. When we sleep many of our bodily functions slow down or stop. This includes the glands that produce saliva. Our saliva plays a major role in fighting bad breath as saliva is high in oxygen and oxygen works to kill the anaerobic bacteria in our mouth. Saliva is also responsible for diluting bacteria and removing food particles from our mouth and carrying them to our gut. While you’re catching your zzz’s this function is dramatically slowed and the result is that bacteria is left in our mouth to multiply.
Oral dryness also readily occurs while we are sleeping due to the fact that most people sleep with their mouth open. Sleeping with your mouth open and breathing through your mouth increases dry mouth and also causes the saliva produced to thicken. Dry mouths are a breeding ground for bacteria to grow, resulting in bad breath developing much easier.
Morning breath is not entirely preventable but there are some steps that can be taken to help with bad breath. Not only will following a good oral hygiene help with morning breath and bad breath, it will go a long way with helping keep your teeth and gums in good health.
Flossing is an important part of your oral hygiene routine and effectively reaches places that your toothbrush cannot. It is recommended by the Canadian Dental Association to floss before brushing. When flossing, be gentle on your teeth and gum line. Be sure to floss in between each tooth and slide the floss into the space between your gum and tooth. Use the floss to gently rub the side of the tooth in an up-and-down motion to collect food particles and bacteria. You should floss at least once or twice a day and when needed.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day and even better is to brush after every meal.
One of the times should be right before you retire for bed. Spend about 2 minutes brushing your teeth, hold your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle and be sure to brush all surfaces of your teeth. Brushing is an effective way to remove bacteria that causes tooth decay and the plaque that can cause gum disease.
Use a tongue cleaner to remove food debris and bacteria build up from your tongue.
Take the scraper and start scraping from the back of your tongue to the front. Rinse the scraper after each stroke and don’t press too hard into your tongue. Incorporating tongue cleaning into your oral hygiene routine will help with reducing plaque in your mouth as well as bad breath.
If you have concerns about your morning breath or would like additional tips on how to combat morning breath, be sure to ask your North Burnaby Dental Group Dentist.