It’s a nightmare scenario. You wake up in the morning. You’re only half-sure you know where you are. There is a very attractive person near you. And your tongue is dry and stuck to the roof of your mouth. You don’t need anyone to tell you. You know that you have the worst kind of morning breath. How did it come to this? How do you avoid morning breath? You know how we do things around here. We’re going to take a deep dive and give you the tools to avoid repeating this scene.
What Causes Morning Breath?
Morning breath is a specific category of bad breath, just like ketosis breath. A doctor might call it halitosis. A lot of things can cause it, but the most frequent culprit is bacteria. No matter how much you brush your teeth, you have bacteria in your mouth. When that bacteria goes unchecked, it will eventually produce byproducts that make your breath stink.
One of the reasons you have morning breath is because you go multiple hours without drinking anything to rest the bacteria in the mouth. They get a free rein when you sleep, and that leads to stinky breath.
All of that said, there are things besides bacteria that can cause your breath to reek. Some things can empower the bacteria to ruin your mouth.
Behaviors That Cause Morning Breath
There are plenty of things you can do that turn your breath into something unholy. Avoiding these behaviors is the best way to keep your mouth fresh (or marginally less awful, if we’re all being honest).
Oral hygiene is number one. Brushing twice a day (especially with an electric toothbrush) is the most important thing. Sure, the toothbrush gives you fresh breath, but the scrubbing is more important. It removes plaque, which makes it harder for bacteria to grow. Flossing has a similar but smaller effect. Bad oral hygiene will always show up in your breath.
Drinking is a big contributor. First, alcoholic drinks smell bad on you later. Second, they cause dry mouth, which tends to trigger the worst kinds of bad breath.
Smoking is another killer. Do you need it explained? Nobody likes the smell of a smoker’s breath.
Lastly, some medications can mess with your breath. Some are pungent, but others impact your breath by messing with your equilibrium. Medications that cause dry mouth will impact your breath negatively. Antibiotics can mess with the good bacteria and worsen your breath too.
Foods That Cause Morning Mouth
Behaviors aside, some foods dominate bad breath contributions, and this should surprise no one.
Spices are at the top of the list. Your favorite curry dish is delicious, but it probably makes your breath stink. As a rule, tasty food is worse for the aroma of your mouth.
Garlic and onions are classic causes of bad breath. You already knew this, but the internet would complain if we skipped over them.
Coffee is a tricky devil. It smells so good when you brew it, but it does bad things to the inside of your mouth — at least as far as your breath is concerned.
Unfortunately, bad breath isn’t the limit. The foods you eat can impact your body odor too. Garlic and alcohol are the most famous culprits. When you’re hungover after an all-night bender, you smell bad. You might not notice, but trust us, everyone else does.
A garlic-heavy diet can also cause B.O. Garlic can seep out of your pores. It’s not delightfully aromatic.
Medical Conditions That Cause Morning Breath
Controlling your diet and behaviors is easy. Unfortunately, there are medical conditions that make things a lot tougher.
GERD is a breath killer. The acronym stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease. You’ve probably heard it called acid reflux or heartburn before. Some acid from your stomach gets into the esophagus. It burns and feels unpleasant. It also gives you rancid burps.
Having a dead tooth or gum infection can also make your breath raunchy. In these cases, simple brushing is no longer enough. The same can be said for fungal infections in or around your mouth. Those are not fun.
Lastly, tonsillitis is a known cause of awful breath. Sometimes, people pick up on it because their mouth tastes funny. You know that’s a bad sign.
Types of Bad Breath
It’s not enough that we have so many sources of bad breath; it comes in great variety. You can trust that none of them are enviable; this isn’t a formal list. Instead, we want to help you think about how to classify your bad breath:
- Maple syrup
- Sour breath
- Nail polish remover
How Do You Know if You Have Bad Breath?
It’s as easy as learning how to smell your breath, but most are oblivious to their bad smells. That’s because you do get used to them and go nose blind. When it comes to your breath, there are a few tricks to help.
First, if you have a dry mouth, your breath stinks. Drink some water. Rehydrate. Brush your teeth or get a breath mint.
Second, if your mouth tastes bad, it smells bad, too; this is common after drinking when you first wake up or have nasal congestion. None of those are good for your breath.
Lastly, if you aren’t sure, you can run some tests. The easiest is to lick the back of your hand and then sniff it. Any smelly residue will transfer, and you have a better chance of detecting it.
You can also just ask. When faced directly, most people will be honest, even if they try too hard to be polite about it.
How to Tell Someone They Have Bad Breath
Short of buying them a bad breath detector, how do you break the bad news gracefully? In our opinion, there are three tactics.
If they’re a close friend or family, you can be blunt. It’s the whole point of having close relationships.
If they aren’t close, then you have to make a decision. Do you want to drop hints, or do you want to nip this in the bud? For those who prefer hints, offering a breath mint or gum is the go-to method. You can try to get clever with your wordplay, but most people will at least think about the quality of their breath when offered a freshener.
If you’re more direct, you can simply tell someone that you can smell their breath. As long as you aren’t saying it in a workplace reply all, most people will appreciate the honesty. You can use a low voice or make sure you’re talking one-on-one to avoid embarrassment.
How To Help Avoid Morning Breath
We’ve made it to the important part. Knowing about bad breath is all well and good, but we want to know how to avoid morning breath. There’s a lot you can do to cure horrible breath aside from just spraying the best male cologne you can find in your mouth. Actually, don’t do that. Brushing your teeth still tops the list. But there are plenty of other remedies that are worth investigating.
Home Remedies for Bad Breath
The best home remedy for bad breath is your toothbrush and maybe some teeth whitening. Use it with toothpaste twice a day, and you’ll probably be just fine. Still, for anyone who wants extra resources, here are some things you can try.
- Vinegar. It can help rinse your mouth if you want an all-natural approach.
- Baking soda can do the same thing as vinegar. You have to decide which is more pleasant for you.
- An herbal rinse can do wonders. It’s almost like an air freshener for your mouth.
- Simply drinking water can wash away smelly elements and relieve dry mouth.
- Pineapple juice puts a pleasant flavor and smell into your mouth.
- Milk works like water, but it’s thicker and thus more effective.
- Green tea can soothe the mouth. At worst, it is as effective as water.
- Apples are an amazing breath freshener, provided you have room in your belly for them.
- Floss. Flossing is natural and gets stinky gunk out from in between your teeth.
- Brush your tongue. When you brush your teeth, don’t miss the tongue. It holds most of the smelly stuff.
- Use mints. You can get natural mint leaves, or you can go with the commercial stuff. It’s all up to you.
When to See a Doctor About Bad Breath
Everyone has bad breath at times, so you should never assume that it is the harbinger of a medical catastrophe. Knowing that halitosis can indicate some problems. How do you know if you have something serious? The simple answer is that it will impact your life.
If your breath is so severe or chronic that it is disruptive to your lifestyle, see a doctor. It could be because there is a deeper underlying cause.
This concludes our lesson on bad breath. There are steps you can take but never forget the most important. Keep some breath mints handy. They’ll resolve any bad breath emergencies as they arise.
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