There you are, it’s Saturday morning and you have the whole day ahead of you. You roll over and look at your better half and decide to give them a good morning kiss. But wait!!! What’s been brewing in your mouth overnight?
Here’s a question – if we floss and brush before we go to bed and settle down to sleep with a fresh mouth every night, why is it that just mere hours later, we wake up with dreaded “morning breath”?
The simple answer is that during the day, saliva works as your body’s own natural mouthwash, washing away bacteria and particles that cause bad breath. While we sleep, saliva production decreases and our mouths dry out, providing the perfect environment for odour-causing bacteria.
Bad breath (or “halitosis”, as it’s officially known) can come from a number of different sources, such as a dry mouth, decomposition of food particles in and around your teeth, and foods (such as garlic and cabbage) that contain certain sulphur compounds. Halitosis can also reflect medical conditions, such as chronic infections in the lungs to kidney and liver failure. Dieting and fasting can slow down the stimulation of saliva flow and result in “offensive” breath. Talking for long periods of time will dry out your mouth with the same result.
Most everyday bad breath, however, can be controlled by following some simple steps:
1. Floss – flossing removes food particles from between the teeth eliminating an element of ‘bad breath’
2. Brush your teeth after every meal – brushing will clean the surface of your teeth and gums eliminating bad breath causing bacteria and prolonging the life of your teeth. It was good advice when you were a kid and its good advice today
3. Scrub your tongue – many new tooth brushes come with a tongue scrubbing side. More than half of the bacteria that cause bad breath can be found on your tongue
4. Keep your mouth moist – avoid sugary beverages, but be sure to drink a lot of water. Aside from being good for hydration, the water acts to flush your mouth of the bacteria that cause bad breath
5. Visit your dentist regularly – aside from keeping your teeth in top shape, your dentist can look for signs of periodontal disease and other treatable causes of halitosis.
If your concerns go beyond morning breath please ask us for more information. We’d be happy to give you some “fresh” oral hygiene tips.