What causes dry mouth, bad breath?

By - Bad Breath Expert

SUMMARY:  If your palate dries out and leaves you with halitosis, you might do well to consider using a specialty breath freshener. But what causes dry mouth in the first place? According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), lots of things can parch your tongue and leave you with embarrassing oral odor.

Posted: October 21, 2011

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If your palate dries out and leaves you with halitosis, you might do well to consider using a specialty breath freshener. But what causes dry mouth in the first place? According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), lots of things can parch your tongue and leave you with embarrassing oral odor.

Possibly the most common cause of dry mouth is sleeping with one's mouth open. Getting some Zs with your maw hanging open can be hard to avoid, which means that most people have suffered from its inevitable consequence, morning breath, at some point.

However, when comes to fresh breath, you don't have to snooze in order to lose it. If you happen to be a mouth breather, someone who habitually inhales and exhales through their mouth rather than their nose, you may experience the oral odor that comes with dry mouth.

The list of what causes dry mouth doesn't end there, though. Heavy exercise, smoking, excessive talking and even anxiety can dry out the saliva on your tongue, leaving it feeling sandy or cottony.

In cases of chronic dry mouth, a medical condition may underlie the problem. One of the most widely known is Sjogren's syndrome, an autoimmune disorder that affects the salivary glands and tear ducts. The National Institute of Health notes that mouth moistening specialty products may help wet one's palate and reduce halitosis, but it emphasizes that this condition is lifelong.

Medications can also cause dry mouth as a side effect, as can radiation therapy for cancer, chemotherapy and nerve damage, the NIDCR states. The organization notes that saliva is essential for reducing oral bacterial growth and tooth decay.

No matter what causes dry mouth, a specialty mouth-moistening breath freshener can cleanse away bacteria and neutralize the odor molecules that give bad breath its unpleasant smell.

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