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May 2, 2012

Why Do I Have Bad Breath in the Morning?

Approximately  95 percent of people are affected by an oral condition that occurs during sleep. We’re talking about dry mouth and bad breath—a situation commonly referred to as morning breath. If your partner avoids kissing you in the morning, Dr. Pate offers these tips to treat your bad breath.

Common Causes of Morning Breath

  • Poor hygiene: Bacteria and food particles that sit in your mouth all night can produce a bad odor when you wake up. It’s important to brush and floss your teeth thoroughly before going to bed to help clear out any lingering microbes. Cleaning your mouth will also help reduce your risk of decay because oral bacteria won’t have as much material to feed on overnight. Additionally, alcohol further dries out your mouth, so make sure your mouthwash has little to no alcohol content.
  • Tongue neglect: Keep in mind that half of the bacteria in your mouth live on the surface of your tongue. As you sleep, your muscles relax and your tongue rests against your throat, roof, or floor of your mouth—spreading the bacteria all over your oral cavity. Make sure you clean your tongue to remove harmful bacteria.
  • Snoring: If you breathe through your mouth, the constant air flow will dry out your palate, tongue, and throat. Dr. Pate’s sleep therapy can help prevent snoring and sleep apnea. Additionally, try changing your sleep position or using a humidifier to clear your nasal passages so you can breathe through your nose.
  • Natural dry mouth: When you sleep, your salivary glands slow down, so there is less saliva available to moisten your mouth. Oral bacteria thrive in this dry environment all night long. Unfortunately, your mouth naturally dries out while you sleep, but keeping a glass of water next to your bed can encourage hydration during the night.  Also, Dr. Pate recommends trying an oral mist to keep your mouth hydrated, like RAIN Oral Mist Spray with xylitol.
  • Constant halitosis: While morning halitosis is normal, constant bad breath is not. If you always have a dry mouth, bad breath, or a bad taste in your mouth, the sensations will be worse upon wakening. Visit Dr. Pate to determine what’s causing your oral odor.  Possible causes could include sinus drainage, dehydration and acid reflux.

Dr. Pate can help keep your mouth healthy at all times of the day and night. Contact Dentistry in Buckhead at (404) 266-9424 to evaluate your oral health.  We welcome patients from Buckhead, Sandy Springs, Lenox, Brookhaven, Atlanta, and the nearby areas.