Why Does Your Breath Stink In The Morning?
Published January 21, 2022
Have you had those moments when you wake up, yawn, and then gag because your breath smells like poop? We’ve all been there. Chronic bad breath is one of the most common oral health issues in the world. The good news is it can be pretty easy to get rid of.
But before that, why does your breath stink in the morning?
According to science, a stinky morning breath is primarily caused by a build-up of bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria tend to emit foul-smelling acids making your breath smell like rotten eggs. A bacterial build-up can also cause various oral and digestive health issues that can affect your breath’s odor.
But that’s just one of the core reasons why you’re suffering from a stinky morning breath. There are actually a lot of factors that can cause your breath to smell like a days-old trash bin.
What Causes Bad Breath?
Aside from bacteria build-up, the following can also cause bad breath not just in the morning but all throughout the day:
Sometimes, pieces of food can get stuck in between our teeth or in places where our toothbrushes can’t reach. When these break down, it provides a nice meal for the bacteria in your mouth. This causes the bacteria to produce acids that give off a strong odor.
Eating certain types of food can also cause halitosis. Strong-smelling foods like onion and garlic might smell great on your food. But they contain sulfur compounds that when mixed with bacteria can give off a very foul odor.
Plus, when these types of foods are digested and absorbed into your bloodstream, they are carried into your lungs. This gives you that distinctive breath that stays even hours after your meal.
2. Poor Dental Hygiene
Not brushing your teeth regularly or using a mouthwash or floss can inevitably lead to bad breath.
As mentioned, bits and pieces of food can get stuck in your mouth. Without proper dental hygiene, those food pieces can stay in there and continue to feed your mouth’s bacteria. Over time, plaque, a thin transparent film of bacteria can also form around your teeth making your breath stink even worse.
3. Dry Mouth
This is one of the most common culprits of stinky morning breaths. When you sleep, your mouth produces less saliva. If you didn’t know, your saliva is antimicrobial and it helps kill the bacteria in your mouth. So with lesser saliva, the bacteria can proliferate and build up in your mouth causing bad breath.
Certain medical conditions can also cause a dry mouth. This includes autoimmune diseases, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and yeast infection. Snoring or sleeping with your mouth open can also dry it out.
4. Empty Stomach
Sleeping on an empty stomach can also cause you to wake up with a foul-smelling breath. That’s because not having enough food forces our body to use up fat for energy. But the process of breaking down fat also produces ketone, a type of acid that emits a foul odor. This odor is then expelled into your breath causing it to stink.
Not eating for prolonged periods of time also decreases your saliva flow. This dries up your mouth which, as you know, can cause bad breath.
5. Periodontal Diseases
Bacteria build-up in the mouth produces plaque which, in turn, irritates your mouth and leads to periodontal diseases.
When left untreated, periodontal diseases can cause your gums to pull away from your teeth and rot. As you can imagine, rotting gums don’t exactly make good-smelling breaths.
6. Acid Reflux
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a medical condition that happens when stomach acids, bile, and undigested food move back up into the esophagus. This not only leaves a bitter taste in your mouth but also a foul-smelling breath.
This one is pretty obvious. Smoking, especially tobacco products, not only gives you that characteristic smoke smell in your breath. It also dries out your mouth and makes it more prone to gum diseases.
8. Mouth, Nose, and Throat Infections
Tonsil stones may also cause bad breath when covered with bacteria. The same is also true for chronic sinus and throat inflammations that cause post-nasal drip.
Aside from the ones mentioned above, the following can also cause bad breath:
- constant dieting
- tooth decay
- alcohol use
- lack of regular dental cleanings
- cement washout in dental caps and crowns
How to Prevent or Get Rid of Morning Breath
Because bad morning breath can be caused by a lot of factors, getting rid of it will depend on its underlying cause.
1. Better Oral Hygiene
In general, better oral hygiene remains the best antidote to bad breath. Brushing your teeth regularly, especially before you go to bed, can prevent the bacteria from proliferating in your mouth. Flossing, mouthwash, and regular dental cleanings can also help especially if you’re wearing an orthodontic device.
2. Lifestyle Changes
Certain lifestyle changes can also help you get rid of halitosis. For instance, if you’re a smoker, you need to quit smoking. Or if you’re following a diet plan that requires you to starve yourself often, consider a healthier alternative.
3. Sugar-Free Gums
You can also try chewing sugar-free gums. It doesn’t contain sugar so it won’t feed the bacteria in your mouth. Plus, the chewing action stimulates the production of saliva which kills the bacteria in your mouth.
4. Dental Procedures
If you have periodontal disease, you may need to schedule a visit to the dentist. Aside from deep cleaning, you may also need treatments like root planing or scaling. You may also need surgery depending on how severe your condition is.
5. Acid-Reducing Medications
For GERD-induced halitosis, taking acid-reducing medications may also help with bad breath. But before you start taking anything, make sure to consult your doctor first.
As you know, the prime culprit for halitosis is bacteria. Bad bacteria, to be specific. Probiotics, the good bacteria, can help you restore a healthy balance of microorganisms in your mouth by getting rid of the bad ones.
But make sure that you are taking probiotics specifically made for oral health issues like halitosis. The most ideal ones are oral probiotic supplements like Bionaze as it also targets ear, nose, and throat disorders.
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About The Author
Judy Ponio is a professional writer based in the Philippines. Her commitment to communicating factual content in when writing is unmatched. She works hard to cross check reputable sources to ensure her work uses accurate facts.