When you go to sleep, you usually do so right after having brushed your teeth. To this end, you may drift off with a nice minty taste in your mouth.
However, when you wake up the next morning, you invariably notice that your mouth tastes rather foul, and your breath undoubtedly is no longer minty and fresh.
In fact, this phenomenon is so common that we even have a term for the halitosis you experience when you first wake up: "morning breath."
So, what is it that takes place in your mouth that causes this? And, is there anything that you can do to avoid it?
When You Sleep, Your Saliva Flow Decreases
One thing that you may not realize about your mouth is that it is continually being washed out by the flow of saliva. During the day, your salivary glands are constantly manufacturing saliva; this saliva does a number of things, including rinsing out the mouth.
Of the constant rinsing has the effect of keeping the bacterial population in your mouth in check.
However, when you go to sleep, your salivary glands slow way down. The greatly reduced saliva production means that there is more time and opportunity for bacteria to reproduce. The elevated bacterial populations are one of the main contributors to dreaded morning breath.
Is There a Solution?
Sadly, there does not appear to be anything that you can do that will completely eliminate this problem. Actually, you would not want your salivary glands to continue producing saliva at an accelerated rate while you sleep. If they did, you would have a great deal of drool running out of your mouth and onto the pillow.
However, you can reduce the problem by making sure to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. Also, make sure to rinse out your mouth right before you go to sleep, and when you wake up. These things will help reduce the severity of the problem.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at (510) 883-3454 today.