While it is generally easy to mask bad breath during the day (whether it is due to medication, odorous foods, or a lack of dental hygiene), something can happen while you’re asleep that causes even worse breath when you wake up – also known as morning breath.
STATISTICS ABOUT MORNING BREATH
According to the Bad Breath Institute, approximately 35 to 45 percent of the world’s population (over 80 million Americans) have some degree of a chronic breath condition. This group has bad breath concerns 24 hours a day, including taste disorders, dry mouth, and morning breath.
While the rest of the world’s population may only worry about bad breath after eating certain foods or taking medication, at least 99% of them suffer from morning breath.
CAUSES OF MORNING BREATH
During sleep, salivary glands slow down because the brain knows you’re not going to be eating or drinking for some time. For some of the elderly population, salivary glands may even shut down completely.
Saliva not only keeps the mouth moist, but it also contains a high concentration of oxygen which fights the bacteria your mouth produces overnight and it washes away both the bacteria and the food they consume. These bacteria, along with mouth-lining cells and plaque from leftover food particles in your gums, tongue and cheeks, are also left to decay, producing the “dragon breath” many of us face in the morning.
For mouth breathers and snorers, bad breath may worsen as the salivary slowdown is then combined with constant air flow in and out of the mouth which causes the tongue, teeth and throat to dry out. Dry mouths are the breeding ground for sulfur-producing bacteria which causes bad breath and taste disorders.