Why Does Your Breath Stink in the Morning

We all know that feeling of tasting decay in your mouth when you first wake up, you cringe away from people with the dreaded ‘morning breath’, but why does your breath stink in the morning?

The Cause

It’s not decay that’s causing that smell, it’s not anything rotting or dying (unless there’s been food stuck between your teeth all night). Your mouth tastes and smells so bad in the mornings because of life. All night while you sleep, baceteria colonies have been gorwing, forming and expanding. While these bacteria do cause cavities, gum disease and tooth decay if left in the mouth for too long, they are actually also protecting us from dangerous bacteria that are trying to kill us.

The Bacteria

The reason these bacteria multiply infinitely overnight is because you are producing a significantly smaller amount of saliva. Usually during the day saliva washes around the mouth and moves bacteria and excess food around your mouth and down the oesophagus. It also contains some particles that act as anti-microbial agents and reduce the number of bacteria present. During the night time, there is less saliva, so less bacteria is washed away and reduced in number, so they can spend the whole night eating.

The Smell

The more food particles bacteria eat, the more they have to metabloise, so feeding all night long causes a lot of metabolism, and this produces a lot of waste products.

One of these products in particular is hydrogen sulphide which is the chemical that produces that ‘rotten egg’ smell we are all too familiar with. The other chemicals released in these metabolic processes are methaneiol, isoflaveric acid and cadervinewhich produce smells similar to those of rotting corpses, farts and sweaty feet.

So the conclusion we can come to is, brush your teeth.

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