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A Dentist Answers: How Do I Prevent Morning Breath?
If you are looking for ways to prevent morning breath, there is no better person to ask than a dentist. After all, these are people who have spent the majority of their higher education and career dealing with the mouth.
Morning breath is very normal, so you are certainly not the only person whose breath smells unpleasant in the morning. However, if the way your breath smells in the morning is so intense that it does not go away after brushing, you will have to make some changes to your oral care habits and a few other things to resolve this issue.
How a dentist prevents bad breath
Here are some simple ways to prevent bad breath in the morning:
1. Night time oral care
This is often the hardest part of oral hygiene for many people. Who wants to brush their teeth before going to bed each night? Throwing yourself on the bed and dozing off just seems a lot more tempting, especially if you have had a busy day.
But here is the problem — bacteria do more damage while you sleep. During the day, saliva acts like a natural cleaner that washes away bacteria and the acids they produce. Saliva production is significantly decreased during sleep, so bacteria get free reign during that period. When a person's mouth is filled with food particles for the bacteria to feast on, they will do just that. Feast, then excrete acids and volatile sulfur gases (VSG) when they have had their fill.
People can combat this by thoroughly cleaning their mouth before going to bed. Teeth should be brushed and flossed, and an antiseptic mouthwash should be used for even more protection.
2. Avoid mouth breathing
As was covered earlier, regular saliva production keeps a person's breath fresh so it is best to avoid things that dry out the mouth, such as breathing with it. Mouth breathing becomes even more of an issue if a person does it while they sleep.
The combination of the reduced saliva secretion and the drying effect of breathing through the mouth creates the perfect condition for bacteria to create VSGs.
3. Limit alcohol consumption
Preventing the mouth from drying out is the most effective way to prevent bad breath. That means limiting alcohol consumption as well since it dehydrates the body and mouth.
Dentists recommend using a mouthwash that does not contain alcohol as an active agent. Non-alcohol mouthwashes might not have the same kick as their alcohol-infused counterparts, but they can be just as effective when it comes to killing bacteria and freshening a person's breath.
4. Cut down on acidic foods and drinks
If there is something else oral bacteria love beside a dry environment, it is one that is acidic. Cut down of foods and beverages that increase oral acidity, like citrus juices and berries.
The bottom line
Sometimes, bad breath is caused by something more serious than having too much oral bacteria in your mouth. Contact your dentist if you consistently have morning bad breath that refuses to go away regardless of what you do. It might be a sign of something more serious.
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