Does this sound familiar? You wake up in the morning and quickly cover your mouth with your hand so your partner doesn’t get a whiff of your bad breath.
“Everyone has morning breath to some degree,” says Sally J. Cram, DDS, a periodontist in the Washington, D.C., area and a consumer adviser for the American Dental Association. Here’s the simple reason why: When you sleep, your mouth dries out. When your mouth dries out, odor-producing bacteria proliferate. “When you sleep, your normal flow of saliva decreases,” Dr. Cram explains. “That’s why your breath can be worse in the morning.”
Some medications can cause your mouth to become dry overnight, worsening your halitosis. That’s 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 — your natural mouth rinse — 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.
Allergies, 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.
If you’re one of the 65 percent of Americans with halitosis, there’s 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! “Don’t eat or drink anything so you’re not leaving food in your mouth,” 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. You’ll notice your breath is fresher in the morning if you brush your tongue before you go to bed.
“Eighty-five percent of bad breath comes from the tongue,” says New York dentist Irwin Smigel, DDS, the president and founder of the American Society for Dental Aesthetics. “It really helps tremendously to use a tongue cleanser before you go to sleep, or anytime during the day.”
Floss. “Flossing 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. http://www.everydayhealth.com“The mouth rinse has to be in there long enough to kill the bacteria,” Dr. Harms advises. “Rinse for five to ten seconds, you’re not getting the full effect. The trick is you have to follow directions.”
Do not forget to come to City Dental to check if you have any problems with your teeth, they can contribute to bad breath, and can cause a lot of headache if these problems are not taken care of on time.