The truth about morning breath and what to do about it

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The truth is, everyone gets bad breath in the morning

Nothing nips a rise n’ shine kiss in the bud like morning breath. What’s worse is that Halitosis (a nasty word for bad breath) is nearly impossible to avoid. But why? You floss and brush every night and you’re not eating French onion soup in your sleep (not that you can recall, anyway), so what could possibly be happening in the midnight hours to unleash the dragon breath?


Not really. The most common cause of morning breath is just the plain old fact that you’ve been sleeping. It’s like this: in the daytime, your mouth produces saliva which washes away food particles. When you’re catching Zs, your mouth goes into rest mode, saliva production goes WAY down, and drought mouth settles in. Tiny little food particles (the ones your toothbrush missed) end up having a slumber party in there and ultimately become midnight munchies for bacteria. And when it eats, bacteria leaves behind a gross gassy smell. Before you know it, dragon breath! The good news is you can rest assured that this process happens to everybody.


Some unfortunate souls are more prone to morning breath than others. People who snore, for example, may get it worse because they sleep with their mouths open, drying things out even further. People who take antihistamines or other mouth-drying medications are also more likely to suffer from the morning stink.

And if you think your oral health isn’t connected to the rest of your body, you’re sadly mistaken. Bad breath can be a sign of stomach reflux issues, infections of the tonsils, sinuses or respiratory tract or even liver or kidney disease. 

The bottom line? If your breath is so bad that your partner wakes up running for the door, you may want to evaluate what’s going on in the rest of your body.


Since dry mouth is a natural overnight occurrence, there’s no proven cure for morning breath. But we do have a few tips (oh yes!) for keeping bad breath from becoming a major interference.

Floss and brush before bed — that goes for your tongue too! Try making your own  all-natural mouthwash. The more food particles you can get rid of at night, the fresher your breath will smell in the morning. 

Drink a cup of herbal tea before bed. While mouthwash and gum merely mask bad breath, real herbs like peppermint, spearmint and wintergreen, will actually fight it off.

Keep a glass of water on your night stand and take a big swig as soon as you wake up.

Get up and brush! First thing. No excuses. 

And now that you’re awake, check out our 10 Must-Know Tips to Kill Bad Breath for a fresh, kissable mouth that lasts all day long.

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