Medical conditions can lead to fowl smelling breath

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What Is Morning Breath?

Ever woke up with a nasty taste in your mouth? Do you desperately try to mask your breath from your loved ones every morning? Otherwise known as halitosis, morning breath affects up to 70 percent of the nation’s population. While 35 percent of Americans have chronic halitosis, another 35 percent experience occasional morning breath. Even brushing and flossing your teeth on a consistent basis may not relieve halitosis. Not only is this bad breath annoying, but it may be a sign of an underlying problem.

Saliva Production and Halitosis

The compounds found in saliva work to moisturize the mouth, rinse away food particles and even kill  odor-causing bacteria. If you do not produce enough saliva, take medications that decrease saliva production or sleep wearing a breathing device, you may suffer from dry mouth. Your normal production of saliva naturally decreases while you sleep. Bacteria love to grow in these dry conditions, and produce volatile sulfur compounds, which causes the morning breath.

Other Common Causes of Halitosis

Morning breath can be caused or worsened by the following:

  • Sleeping with your mouth open or snoring. As air passes over your palate, it can dry the mouth out even further. This causes more bacteria to grow.
  • Smoking can raise the internal temperature of the mouth. The extra warmth can create a breeding ground for bacteria.
  • Post-nasal drip, or mucous dripping from the sinuses down the back of throat, can cause halitosis.
  • Infection, such as a sore throat or sinus infection, adds more bacteria to the oral cavity.
  • Gingivitis or gum disease is caused by bacteria trapped under the gums, which can result in morning breath.

Certain medical conditions can lead to fowl smelling breath, such as chronic bronchitis, diabetes, respiratory tract infections, liver disease and acid reflux.

Treating and Preventing Bad Breath

Fortunately, there are ways to treat halitosis and prevent it from returning. Experts suggest implementing good oral hygiene into your daily routine. This includes brushing your teeth and tongue for at least two minutes twice daily. Flossing removes any particles of food trapped between the teeth, and should be an essential part of your nightly routine. Lastly, you may want to use a bacteria-neutralizing mouthwash to rinse away any remaining particles.

If your halitosis is caused by an underlying health condition or bacterial infection, you may want to consider seeing a physician. Oxygenating mouthwashes and toothpastes can help clear up the bacteria and odor from your mouth in the meantime.

You don’t want to be known for your morning breath or halitosis. Now you know the easy steps you can take to clear it up.