Did you wake up this morning with a dry mouth and bad breath? Experts estimate that about 95 percent of people experience morning halitosis from time to time. If your bad breath is a problem, contact Dr. Locke to help keep your breath fresh.

What Causes Morning Breath?

“Morning breath” is caused by a lack of moisture in your mouth. When you sleep, your salivary glands slow down and produce less saliva. Breathing through your mouth also dries out the back of your throat. Additionally, more than half the bacteria in your mouth live on the surface of your tongue. When you sleep, your tongue naturally makes contact with your throat, spreading the bacteria all over your mouth. Saliva is necessary to keep your mouth moist and wash away bacteria. Overnight, oral bacteria thrive in the dry environment and produce a bad odor when you wake up.

Reduce Your Risk

Your mouth will naturally dry out while you sleep, but there are some factors you can control to help reduce your risk of bad morning breath.

  • Brush and floss before you go to sleep. This will help clean your mouth and remove food particles, providing the bacteria in your mouth less to feed on.
  • Try to avoid alcohol-based mouthwashes. Alcohol further dries out your mouth, so if you’re using an oral antiseptic rinse, make sure it has little or no alcohol content.
  • Drink lots of water before going to bed. It will help keep your mouth moist. As a bonus, it may make you wake up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, which is a great time to drink some more water to help stay hydrated throughout the night.
  • Studies have shown that cinnamon has ingredients that help decrease the amount of odor-causing bacteria in your mouth. Chew a piece of sugarless cinnamon gum or brush with cinnamon toothpaste before going to bed.
  • Don’t eat less than 3 hours before going to bed. You want to allow enough time for your food particles to dissolve and clear your mouth.

While “morning breath” is normal, constant halitosis is not. If you experience bad breath or dry mouth all the time, visit Dr. Locke for an assessment and treatment. Contact our dentist office in Waco, Texas, at (254) 776-4888 to schedule an appointment.