Have you ever wondered why you have bad breath when you get up in the morning? That unmistakable odor is a result of the overnight activity happening in your mouth while you sleep. Yes, though you think your body is shutting down for the night, there is, in fact, a lot going on. As you may have guessed from the results, this overnight mouth activity is not good and is due to bacteria activity.
During the daytime, your mouth produces saliva that constantly cleanses the inside of your mouth. It rinses away the food particles and beverage residue left behind from the food and drinks you consume throughout the day. The constant cleaning deters most of the bacteria in your mouth which is why your breath isn’t as bad throughout the rest of the day.
What Happens in Your Mouth at Night?
Things change at night when you sleep.
As you fall asleep, your body signals the glands in your mouth that produce saliva to decrease production. If your saliva production didn’t decrease while you slept, you would be constantly swallowing, which would interrupt your sleep. Also, you would lose a lot of water during your sleep if your saliva production didn’t decrease.
The decrease in saliva production is the reason you may get a dry mouth when you sleep. And, as we mentioned before, when saliva production decreases, the inside of your mouth doesn’t get naturally cleaned as often, which makes for a more hospitable environment for germs and bacteria.
The bacteria in your mouth become more active and numerous when there is no saliva to wash them away. The germs and bacteria, like other living organisms, need to eat in order to survive. During the day, germs and bacteria feed off the protein found in the food and drinks you consume. At night when you’re not eating, the bacteria often feed on the proteins found in saliva and mucus.
What’s That Smell?
The breakdown of the proteins within the bacteria creates a chemical reaction which produces Sulphur gasses, more specifically called hydrogen sulfide, which has something of a rotten egg smell. The egg-smelling gases are emitted inside your mouth by the millions of bacteria, causing the bad breath you smell in the morning.
How to Lessen Morning Breath
Since your mouth’s natural bacteria defenses ease up when you sleep, it extremely important to have a bedtime oral care routine. Before going to bed, be sure to floss, brush your teeth, gums and tongue and wash with mouth wash. A thorough mouth cleaning at the end of the day will get rid of leftover food particles that mouth bacteria crave.
Doing your part to help your mouth combat bacteria and germs is the most effective way to lessen the overnight germ activity in your mouth and the bad morning breath they produce.
Regular teeth cleaning is important for to effectively combat smell-producing bacteria. Though at-home oral care is important, you should also regularly have cleaning done by a professional. We have state of the art equipment that can reach the hard to clean places in your mouth where a lot of unwanted food particles like to hide. Let us help you keep your oral health strong and the morning breath at bay by scheduling an appointment with us today.