We all hate that icky feeling we get when we get up in the morning with “morning breath” and we often scurry right away to the bathroom to brush our teeth before we offend our significant other. Heck – sometimes we even offend ourselves.
Halitosis, or bad breath, in general, may be caused by several factors, only one of which is poor dental hygiene. The foods you enjoy eating, like curry, garlic or onions, are a major culprit and emit a foul odor, no matter how much you brush and floss. In the case of garlic and onions, they actually go right into your pores and the smell emits from your lungs, not just your mouth. Garlic may keep you healthy but you might lose a friend or two along the way as well.
Other foods besides onion and garlic cause morning breath and this is because they are notorious for creating a sticky film on your teeth. One infamous offender is spinach. It’s believed that the residue spinach leaves on the teeth is from oxalic acid, which also can be found in beets, kale and rhubarb.
The biggest reason for bad morning breath is because when we are unconscious and sleeping during the night, many of our bodily functions stop or slow down, and this includes our salivary glands. Saliva is very important in fighting bad breath because it is high in oxygen and this kills the anaerobic bacteria. It also helps break down the food particles and remove them from the mouth when the saliva is swallowed. Due to the lower amounts of saliva during sleep, the mouth is exposed to less oxygen and there is less of it circulating to cleanse and remove particles from the mouth. Thus, before going to bed you should ensure your mouth is as free from particles of plaque and food as possible because those items are like magnets that drag bacteria toward them and cause them to multiply. Bacteria in the mouth thrive in an alkaline environment that inhibits the growth of bacteria.