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ASK YOUR DENTIST 17. - Terrible breath in the morning

“My partner regularly complains of my terrible breath that I have in the morning. I go to the dentist regularly, (once every other year or so), I have no cavities, this is just the way my mouth smells. I brush my teeth three times a day, and i use mouthwash. What can I do to fight this situation? What is causing my bad breath? It does not just go away in the morning either, it kinda lingers about all day. Please help!"


Dear Nigel,

While sometimes halitosis (the scientific name for having bad breath) is hereditary, often times it is not. There are many things which can lead to the formation of bad breath, even with the good at home oral care and regular check ups. But before I list a bunch of problems you may or may ínot have, let me just ask you two first: do you floss? If not, the problem is solved, you have gunk in your teeth that is decomposing, but invisible, although it can be sensed through olfactory means. The second is, do you tell your dentist about these issues? Does your dentist address the smell, or do anything to avoid it? And when you are at these half year check ups, does he clean your teeth professionally, with a scaler? Because you may just have a bad dentist who is not noticing something serious, or is not giving you good treatment and is neglecting your problems. But if your dentist does not note it, it may not be halitosis at all, and your partner may just be finicky.

morning breath

There are a number of things that can make your breath smell bad, though, which are prevalent even if your teeth are clean. First of all, do you smoke? Smoking makes your breath smell bad, and will continue to smell bad even after a deep cleaning or hygiene session. If you are an alcoholic, this will also cause similar problems to arise, as alcohol dries out the mucus membranes and causes excessive amounts of decay in your oral cavity. Aside from this, the problem could be that you have an intestinal problem. You may have reflux disease, in which case your intestinal tract does not close properly, letting all sorts of smells and fumes come up from the belly and linger in the mouth.

You may also have some form of periodontitis, that is living in your gums, and is causing the bad breath. If this is the case, antibiotics and a deep cleaning will help you get rid of it. I, first and foremost would ask my dentist if everything is okay, and if it is not, what the cause is. Once that has been discovered, remedying the situation should be a piece of cake.

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