Dry mouth at night is bacteria's delight
|By Dr. Harold Katz - Bad Breath Expert|
SUMMARY: To put an new spin on an old sailor's saying, here is an adage about oral odor. Dry mouth at night: bacteria's delight. Dry mouth at morning: halitosis! Take warning! Though it may not seem like that big of a deal, dry mouth can lead to severe halitosis, deep cavities and problematic dental issues.
Posted: October 12, 2011
To put an new spin on an old sailor's saying, here is an adage about oral odor. Dry mouth at night: bacteria's delight. Dry mouth at morning: halitosis! Take warning! Though it may not seem like that big of a deal, dry mouth can lead to severe halitosis, deep cavities and problematic dental issues.
You're probably familiar with the most common symptom of dry mouth at night - namely, morning breath. If you tend to sleep with your mouth open, you almost certainly wake up with funky, sour-smelling dragon breath.
This variety of halitosis has its own name for good reason. Unlike your common, run-of-the-mill bad breath, odor caused by nocturnal dry mouth can be especially potent, since your oral cavity's bacteria have all night to multiply.
When you go to sleep and your jaw falls slack, you salivary glands cannot replace saliva as fast as the open air makes it evaporate. Fairly quickly, your tongue and palate can dry out. From then until you wake up, the microbes in your mouth diligently colonize every nook and cranny they can get into, emitting foul-smelling gases in the process.
Think of your open mouth as a big Petri dish. Without cleansing moisture, anaerobic bacteria can thrive, leaving your breath smelling terrible and your teeth covered with a layer of scum.
Not everyone who experiences dry mouth at night sleeps with their mouth open. In fact, some people suffer from xerostomia, a chronic condition of low saliva flow. This can be caused by medications, nerve damage or even Sjogrens syndrome, an autoimmune disorder, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
Either way, getting rid of morning breath means moistening your mouth with a specialty breath freshening rinse. While you're at it, try using a tongue scraper and a foaming toothpaste for added benefit.