We’ve all experienced bad breath after eating a plate of liver and onions (okay, maybe not–who eats liver these days?), but what do you do if you experience bad breath on a regular basis that doesn’t seem to go away no matter how well you brush, floss, and use mouthwash?
In general, bad breath is caused by the growth of bacteria, which use sulfur and other elements rather than oxygen to breathe, creating smelly compounds. But what triggers the abnormal growth of these bacteria? There are several potential causes of chronic bad breath that need to be considered because several of them could be serious health risks.
Sleep Apnea, Snoring, and Chronic Morning Breath
If you’re wondering why do we get bad breath when we sleep, we have answers for you. Waking up with bad breath happens to everybody once in a while, but if you experience it every morning, sleep-disordered breathing may be the cause. Normally, you should breathe through your nose at night, but if you are having difficulty breathing you may be breathing through your mouth, instead. Breathing through your mouth dries up your mouth and allows bacteria to flourish.
The obstruction in your airway that’s forcing you to breathe through your mouth may be causing snoring, too, and if it’s really serious, you may experience sleep apnea, in which your breathing actually stops at night. Watch out for other symptoms of sleep apnea, such as morning headaches, sleepiness during the day, lack of energy, and depression.