The Infamous Morning Breath – Why Does Everyone Have It?

August 1, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. Buck @ 5:06 pm
man discusses halitosis with dentist in Dublin

Embarrassing as it can be, no one can escape it – morning breath. People in relationships are especially familiar with this phenomenon, as they’ve likely been greeted with their partner’s breath first thing in the morning. What contributes to this odorous reality? Your dentist in Dublin provides some expertise to help you achieve the best oral health possible!

What is Morning Breath (Technically)

The official term for bad breath is halitosis. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), unpleasant breath generally is the result of bacteria in the mouth. While sleeping, leftover food and beverage particles collect between your teeth, on the tongue and along the gum line. As your mouth breaks down the chemicals and attracts bacteria, the foul odor is produced.

What Can Make Morning Breath Worse?

While its almost inevitable to have sour breath in the morning, it can be made more severe by the following factors:

Dry mouth

Saliva plays a significant role in flushing debris from your mouth and controlling bacteria growth. When sleeping, your mouth becomes dryer than normal, which can contribute to bad breath.

Poor oral hygiene

Failing to brush and floss at least two times a day will contribute to foul morning breath. That’s because leftover food and beverage particles will break down while you sleep and release their unpleasantness when you wake-up.

Eating certain foods

Foods like onions, garlic and certain spices are notorious for producing strong odors once digested. The broken-down chemicals are transported to the lungs; thus, you are literally breathing the leftovers on your partner in the morning.

Tobacco usage

When tobacco is smoked or chewed, harmful toxins are released inside the mouth. In addition to compromising your oral and overall health, it can intensify morning halitosis.


People who suffer from GERD (gastrointestinal reflux disease) may experience bad breath due to stomach acid rising up through the esophagus when they sleep.

Taking certain medications

Certain medications can contribute to dry mouth and increased bacteria growth, making morning breath worse.

Ways to Control Morning Breath

Thankfully, there are ways to decrease the potency of morning breath. Consider doing the following:

  • Drink more water – This will help to flush away bacteria and add more moisture to your mouth while sleeping at night. You can even keep a bottle of water beside your bed just in case you wake-up thirsty throughout the night.
  • Carefully clean your tongue – In addition to brushing and flossing your teeth daily, use a tongue scraper to remove excess bacteria in the morning and evening.
  • Chew sugar-free gum – Along with helping to freshen your breath, chewing sugar-free gum aids in increasing your saliva production.

If your morning breath becomes more acute, it’s a good idea to reach out to your local dentist to be examined. Therefore, any underlying issues can be identified and treated before they become worse.

While sour breath in the morning is a reality, the good news is that following the above suggestions will help to keep it in check!

About the Author

Dr. Eric Buck earned his dental degree from The Ohio State University College of Dentistry. Throughout his career, he has taken a holistic approach to dentistry, meeting the varied needs of his patients. A member of several professional organizations, including the Ohio Dental Association, Columbus Dental Society, Spear Education Society and others, Dr. Buck promotes fresh breath by providing comprehensive care at Distinctive Smiles, and he can be reached for more information through his website.