Nearly everyone has gotten bad breath from sleeping with their mouth open ortherwise parching their palate, but for a few individuals, a dry mouth syndrome is to blame for chronic halitosis, as well as for dry eyes.
This medical condition is known as Sjogren's syndrome, and it is an autoimmune disease. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), people with this syndrome experience dryness because their immune systems attack their salivary glands. The condition may also result in impaired tear production and arthritis.
If you think something like this must be exceedingly rare, think again. Plenty of people have it. Recently, tennis star Venus Williams announced that she has this dry mouth syndrome, noting that it took years before her physicians determined what was causing her oral dryness, halitosis and dry eyes.
The Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation states that Williams is one of 4 million Americans who suffer from the condition. The NIH adds that nine of 10 people with the halitosis-causing dry mouth syndrome are women.
What can be done about this condition? Besides using lip balm and artificial saliva, people with Sjogren's syndrome can drink plenty of water to keep their palate moist and their throat wet, the NIH recommends. Likewise, they may consider sucking on a specialty breath freshening lozenge, which can do the double duty of moistening the mouth and neutralizing odors.
Besides people with this dry mouth syndrome, nearly anyone who suffers from an arid palate can use these basic remedies to treat oral dryness. For example, if you sleep with your mouth open and get morning breath, try rinsing your mouth with water and then gargling a specialty breath freshening mouthwash for at least 30 seconds.
Likewise, a foaming toothpaste may encourage your mouth to produce more saliva, which can help reduce the bad breath caused by dry mouth.