How to prevent morning breath
Morning breath is unpleasant at best and is debilitating at worst. Waking up with a dry, sticky tongue and foul breath is disagreeable in itself, but facing a spouse, roommate, or family member with morning breath can be particularly embarrassing. It’s not surprising that about two thirds of people worry about having bad breath. Fortunately, there are a number of practical steps that can be taken to effectively deal with the problem. Although common, morning breath does not have to be a serious issue; learning about what causes the problem and taking steps to help prevent it can make a big difference in your daily life.
Causes of Morning Breath
Morning breath is usually caused by bacteria present in the mouth that feed on food particles. The particles gather on the tongue, between the teeth, and along the gum tissue. As the bacteria break down the food particles, they create a collection of foul-smelling chemicals. Throughout the day, saliva works to keep these anaerobic bacteria mostly in check by washing out and oxygenating the mouth. At night, however, saliva production is inhibited and the mouth dries out, creating optimal conditions for bacteria to flourish. These bacteria work all night, leaving behind the fruit of their labors: smelly morning breath.
Practice Proper Oral Hygiene
Since morning breath is usually caused by bad bacteria in the mouth, the simplest and most effective solution is to get rid of those bacteria by practicing good oral hygiene. This includes flossing between the teeth every day and brushing the teeth twice each day, especially at night before bed. In this way, odor producing organisms are removed before they are able to cause problems, leaving the mouth feeling and smelling fresh. One area of oral hygiene that is easy to neglect is the tongue, but this is a hotspot for bad bacteria. For this reason, it is a good idea to use a toothbrush or tongue scraper to clean the tongue and prevent bacterial buildups. Finally, mouthwashes can also be used to kill bacteria that are hard to reach by other means. Oral Essentials Clean and Fresh™ Mouthwash is a great example of a mouthwash specially formulated to fight morning breath with all natural ingredients. It cleans and moisturizes the mouth to leave your breath refreshed.
Stay Well Hydrated
A dry mouth is the perfect environment for morning breath to take hold. Snoring or breathing through your mouth results in air flowing over the tongue and palate during the night. Combined with the reduction of saliva at night, this creates a dry morning mouth. To combat morning breath, work to keep your body hydrated. The human body needs more fluids than many people realize. To maintain optimal functioning, men need about thirteen glasses of water a day and women need about nine. Proper hydration encourages healthy saliva and prevents excessive dryness. In addition to drinking throughout the day, drinking a glass of water before bed will help prevent dry mouth during the night. If you wake up thirsty, a glass of water on the nightstand can also help to freshen your mouth and keep you hydrated.
Keep Your Dental Appointments
Regular exams and cleanings with your dentist are an important part of good oral hygiene. Plan to visit your dentist at least twice a year or as recommended for professional cleanings. A dentist is able to thoroughly clean teeth, address plague buildup, encourage healthy gums, and discover problems before they become serious. Talking to your dentist about morning breath concerns is the best way to receive professional advice tailored to your specific needs and situation.
Smoking is one of the worst offenders when it comes to morning breath. Cigarettes leave a foul stench in the mouth which lingers overnight. They also dry out the mouth, inhibiting the production of saliva and encouraging bad bacteria to multiple. Eliminating this habit has many other health benefits, so it’s not just your breath that will thank you. Whether you quit cold turkey or use aids such as nicotine patches, you should notice an immediate improvement in the way your breath smells throughout the day.
Improve Your Diet
A healthy and well-balanced diet contributes to optimal oral health and naturally helps prevent morning breath. By trading sweets for fruits and vegetables and making other dietary improvements, you will be doing your mouth a favor by discouraging the growth of bad bacteria, encouraging saliva production, and maintaining healthy gums. Also, certain foods make morning breath worse. To address this, avoid foods that contribute to the problem, such as coffee, onions, and garlic, especially in the evenings.
Even after taking these steps, morning breath may occasionally be a problem. In these situations, the best solution is to mask the odor. A scented mouthwash or chewing gum is a common solution, but consider a natural remedy. Chewing mint leaves or parsley, for example, will combat odors naturally and effectively. Another options is Oral Essentials line of natural oral care products that are formulated with all natural ingredients, including mint and essential oils.
Morning breath is unpleasant, but it doesn’t have to ruin your morning. Focusing on the health of your mouth is key in the fight to prevent morning breath and bad breath throughout the day. Use these tips to take control of your breath and keep your mouth fresh, clean, and healthy.
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