Is your breath is less than fresh when you wake up in the morning? Or worse, is your breath is bad throughout the rest of the day despite brushing and flossing your teeth? If so, you might want to visit Dr. James Fondriest to find out why. Mouth odor in the morning is normal and natural. An accumulation of oral bacteria is the cause. Yet, after brushing away those bacteria, any lingering mouth odors are likely caused by something more serious.
What Causes Morning Breath?
Bacteria are a natural part of your oral anatomy. In fact, a typical human mouth contains over 600 different identifiable kinds at any given moment. When you sleep, these bacteria accumulate thanks to the reduction in your saliva flow. By the time you wake up, all kinds of oral bacteria have gathered in force inside of your mouth.
The bacteria are feeding on the food particles missed with your nightly brush and floss. These food particles can be too small to see and often rest on your tongue’s surface. This leftover food provides a breeding ground for the normal plaque bacteria in you mouth.
A by product from the odor causing bacteria metabolizing the foods are sulfur compounds and acids. It is important not to forget to brush your tongue or to use a tongue scraper when you go to bed as this will lessen mouth odors.
What causes your chronic bad breath when you get out of bed?
The problem with mouth bacteria is that some of them can be particularly harmful to your oral health in large numbers. For instance, certain kinds can erode your tooth structure and lead tooth decay. Others can infect your gum tissues and lead to gum disease.
When a dental issue develops from excess bacteria, chronic morning breath can be a characteristic symptom. If you mouth still smells after you brush your teeth and gums, then schedule a dental checkup. Your dentist or dental hygienist can tell you what things can be contributing to bad breath odor.
Other Conditions that Can Cause Bad Breath
In addition to dental decay and gum disease, there are other reasons why bad breath may become persistent.
Dry mouth causes morning breath
It is important to stay hydrated. One of the most common causes of persistent morning breath is xerostomia – or chronic dry mouth. Saliva production is essential for optimal oral health. In addition to providing moisture for the mouth, it also neutralizes acids produced by plaque. Saliva washes away dead cells that have accumulated on the oral soft tissues. If these dead cells are not removed, they decompose and cause bad odors.
Dry mouth may be caused by certain medications or health-related problems. Other causes include chronic open-mouth breathing and salivary gland issues.
Ill-Fitting oral appliances can cause morning breath
Poorly fitting dental appliances, such as dentures, can harbor bacteria in hard-to-reach places. As a result, odors can develop.
Oral Yeast Infections
Additionally, oral yeast infections (thrush) can also lead to halitosis. Candida is a type of fungus that lives in the human body. In small amounts, candida is normal. However, if it grows out of control, it can cause white or yellow patches on the lips and mouth. This condition is more likely in patients:
- With diabetes
- Who wear dentures
- Undergoing cancer treatment
- Who take wide-spectrum antibiotics or steroids
Health Problems Associated with Mouth Odors
Beyond oral health issues, persistent mouth odors can also indicate of a host of other medical conditions, such as:
- Liver or kidney problems
- Chronic acid reflux
- Postnasal drip
- Bronchitis, pneumonia, or other respiratory tract infections
- Chronic sinus infections
For this reason, it is extremely important to identify the root cause of chronic bad breath. Learn more about the common causes for foul mouth odors. Addressing the problem sooner rather than later can help you avoid more complex health issues. If you suspect any of the above issues are causing mouth odors, schedule a visit with your general dentist.
How to Treat Persistent Morning Breath
If breath odors are due to medical issues like the ones mentioned above, you should seek advice from your doctor. However, if the problem is due to poor hygiene, there are treatments available. Of course, the most appropriate treatment will depend on your specific circumstances.
Your dentist may recommend a number of treatments, which could include:
Fight morning breath with improved oral hygiene:
Morning breath often occurs when you wait too long between regular dental cleanings. A cleaning with your hygienist can eliminate the problem.
Scaling and root planing:
Persistent morning breath that quickly return after brushing and flossing may be due to gum disease. When odor causing bacteria is too far beneath the gum, it cannot be reached with a toothbrush or floss. When your gum pockets have gotten deep, your will need a deep cleaning to clean everything.
Some cases of gum disease are too severe to be treated with scaling and root planing. If bad breath is due to periodontal disease, Dr. Fondriest will likely refer you to a trusted periodontist.
Mouth odors can be due to tooth decay. It’s important to address this problem soon, so you don’t compromise the health of other teeth. Your dentist can gently remove the decay and restore the affected tooth.
If you’re prone to decay, fluoride treatments can be successful in the fight against cavities and mouth odors.
Got Morning Breath?
Your breath is bad in the morning because of oral bacteria that gather at night. Obviously poor dental hygiene can make it worse. If it continues after your morning hygiene routine, then there may be a more serious reason. To find out how serious your halitosis is and how best to treat it, schedule a consultation by calling us at 847-234-0517. In addition to the Chicago metropolitan area, we also proudly serve residents of the North Shore and Northwest suburbs.