Do you often wake up with breath that can clear a room? If you’re tired of bad breath in the morning – technically known as “halitosis” – we have six tips that can help you nip the problem in the (taste) buds!
Reduce the caffeine.
Caffeine inhibits the production of saliva, and saliva is the body’s natural method of cleaning your mouth. That means that caffeine-laden coffee, black teas, and energy drinks can dry out your mouth and allow oral bacteria to flourish. That leads to halitosis, since oral bacteria are the main culprit of bad breath. If you do need that jolt of caffeine in the morning, be sure to keep your mouth moist with lots of glasses of water to counteract the effects of the caffeine.
Quit the habit.
Cigarettes are double trouble for your oral health. Not only do they stain your teeth, but they are purveyors of bad breath. The combination of chemical additives in the cigarette, along with the particles of smoke that stick to your throat and lungs, leaves your breath stale (and puts you at risk for lung cancer). Chewing tobacco is even worse for your breath.
Skip the cigarettes and caffeine – but be sure to sit down for a nutritious breakfast every morning. It doesn’t have to be complicated. An apple is great because of its water content and crunchiness. The combination helps eliminate bacteria that cause odors. Eggs or yogurt are also good choices because they boost the production of saliva and provide you with calcium and Vitamin D.
Be more effective when you floss and brush.
Even if time is tight in the morning, don’t rush your dental routine. Particles of food stuck in your mouth, gingivitis and oral bacteria can all contribute to bad breath and even more serious oral health issues. If you want to give yourself an even deeper cleaning than just brushing and flossing, you might add a tongue scraper to your morning routine along with gargling with a non-alcoholic mouthwash (alcohol dries out your mouth). And if you are really tight on time, be sure you have a travel toothbrush, tube of toothpaste, and floss at your workplace or in your car.
Pay attention to your sleeping habits.
How you breath when you sleep could be a contributor to your bad breath in the morning. If you breathe through your mouth when you sleep, you’ll dry out your mouth and the lack of saliva will give halitosis-causing oral bacteria a boost. If your situation is severe, your dentist my recommend surgery. If it isn’t that severe, try having a glass of water, a throat lozenge, or a humidifier handy when you go to bed to keep your mouth moist and your breath fresh.
See your dentist.
If you try the first five tips on our list and you’re still waking up with bad breath, then be sure to make an appointment to see your dentist. Your persistent morning halitosis may indicate that something more serious is going on with your oral health. It could be a cavity, an infection in a tooth, or gum issues. Or it could be something even more severe, such as liver or kidney issues or diabetes. Your dentist can see if the issue with your bad breath is due to a mouth issue or if it’s a more systemic problem. If it’s an oral health issue, they will be able to give you a personalized action plan to permanently get rid of the problem.
SOURCES: American Dental Association, WebMD, Mayo Clinic