Why Does My Breath Smell in The Morning Even When I Brush My Teeth At Night?

How often have you woken up in the morning only to cover your mouth with your hand to smell your breath and find out that it reeks?

That, my friends, is the curse of having halitosis. Simply put, halitosis is the condition of having bad breath due to bacteria. The good news is, it’s highly treatable. You will just need to adjust your brushing habits to achieve relatively fresher breath in the morning.

So, what causes your breath to smell in the morning, even when you brush your teeth every night? The reason that your breath smells in the morning even after you have brushed your teeth at night is bacteria. These pesky single-celled organisms are the main cause for your bad breath, and it’s made even worse with bad brushing habits because the odor inducing bacteria are usually tucked in between your teeth and on your tongue.

If you feel that you are a victim of bad breath, don’t be alarmed. It’s a perfectly curable condition which you can treat at home by making a few adjustments in your bedtime and morning routines. Read on more to find out how.

Bad Breath and You

Bad breath has been frowned upon since the early ages. It’s a huge turn off for some and sometimes even a deal breaker when you are on a date. It’s even considered to be offensive in some cultures.

Proper hygiene is extremely important not only to smell great but also because it keeps off harmful bacteria from forming or building on your body. These bacteria thrive on food particles that get stuck between your teeth, slowly consuming them, and leaving out odor producing byproducts.

Most people find getting rid of bad breath so challenging that they opt for breath mints and even lozenges to cover the odor. In the case of chronic bad breath, where you are brushing your teeth properly and still retaining odor, it would be best if you see a doctor about that. But for most cases, maintaining proper mouth hygiene is all it takes to lift the curse.

Proper hygiene goes beyond keeping your extremities clean. You need to put in an effort to clean your mouth properly as well because the habit of brushing only once per day or brushing twice but for only 30 seconds each is the likely cause for your bad breath.

If you truly want to get rid of bad breath, here is what you need to do:


Of course, this goes without saying that brushing is the best defense against bad odor. But if it’s done in a haphazard or hastened way, it is likely to cause more harm than good. In a perfect world, you would be expected to brush your teeth after every meal.

But in a more realistic setting, it’s better to brush your teeth two times a day for at least 2-3 minutes. The timing and the way you brush your teeth is crucial in getting rid of bad breath. Remember to use a good toothpaste that covers all your needs. Most kinds of toothpaste are adequate when it comes to cleaning but some are also specialized to protect your teeth, gums, and even leave you with a fresh breath. We recommend Cleure Toothpaste with Baking Soda and Xylitol (click to view current pricing on Amazon)

Start with taking just enough toothpaste on your brush that you can work with and then brush your teeth in a circular motion starting from the middle teeth. Then proceed to the canines and beyond. Make sure you brush the exterior properly and also try to reach for the spaces between your teeth. Once you are done with the exterior, its time to clean the inside of your teeth.

Brushing is like a car wash for your teeth. You need to clean them from all angles. Proceed to brush the inside of your teeth by placing the brush upright. This will allow you to brush the hard to reach places and give you enough space to move the brush. Don’t forget to reach the molars too! The exterior and interior should take about a minute each.

Now, most people would usually rinse their mouth after brushing just the teeth. But the bacteria not only thrive on your teeth but also on the roof of your mouth and on your tongue. This is because the tongue and teeth are the most exposed areas when you consume food. It’s more likely to have food particles and residue placed on your teeth and tongue than any other area in your mouth.

To clean the tongue, gently brush the base of the tongue and work your way up. Remember, you have to be gentle but thorough. Once you have adequately brushed your tongue, it’s time to rinse. Take a sip or two of water and thoroughly rinse your mouth to get rid of the excess toothpaste. You may repeat as necessary. The entire process from cleaning your teeth to your tongue should take about 3 minutes.

Some people dislike brushing their tongues because of the gag reflux that it induces. You don’t need to go that far. You can start with just the base above the tip of the tongue and finish with a good rinse with mouth wash.

Mouth Wash

For an even better approach, try using mouth wash after brushing for a more comprehensive cleanse.

Most mouth wash products are formulated to kill off unwanted bacteria, thus stopping their growth. If you dislike brushing your tongue, you are better off with using mouth wash. Try one that takes care of multiple problems, like the buildup of plaque and other bacteria.

Most products claim to give you a long-lasting freshness, so you have the added benefit of smelling fresh even when you wake up in the morning. We recommend the Listerine Ultraclean Oral Care Antiseptic mouth wash (Click to view on Amazon)

The truth is, everyone has morning breath. It just varies in the intensity. The better you clean your mouth, the more likely you are to have less bad breath, which is why we suggest you rinse your mouth with mouth wash for at least 30 seconds after you brush your teeth.


If you really want to dominate bad breath, you should try flossing.

Flossing basically helps you clean the hard to reach places. It’s certain that both brushing and mouth wash can’t reach the crevasses between your teeth and it’s likely that bacteria thrive there as well.

Flossing might be difficult to pursue, but it’s well worth the effort. It only takes 1 more minute. Up until now, if you were to put all of the steps that we have discussed above together, it would take you only 4-5 minutes to get rid of bad morning breath. We believe sparing 5 minutes in the bathroom every night is better than having an embarrassing situation every morning. Trust us when we say that it is worth all the effort and time.

If you are looking for a comprehensive solution, you can’t go wrong with flossing. It not only helps you get rid of food particles, but it also helps in preventing the buildup of calculus: an incrustation that forms on the teeth and gums.

You may also use electric flossers for more convenience but always try to use it in tandem with brushing and mouth wash. Electric water injectors or cleaners are not substitutes for brushing and using mouth wash no matter what the packaging says. If you are interested in electric flossers then try the Akche Dental Rechargeable Water Flosser (Amazon). It’s the perfect tool for your oral hygiene needs.

Related Questions

Is odor caused by eating specific foods? Yes, halitosis is not only caused by bacteria but can also be caused by eating sharp tasting foods. For example, the sulfuric chemicals in garlic and onion can cover your mouth and induce bad breath. But they can easily be treated by brushing or with a breath deodorizer.

Why do I have chronic bad breath? If you have chronic bad breath, it’s likely caused by something other than just bacteria. It’s better that you seek medical attention and explain everything to your doctor in detail. It might be an indication of an underlying disease which is causing halitosis.

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