You've had a good night's sleep, a treasure topped only by the chance to awaken leisurely as the morning sun streams in through your bedroom window. As you stretch your arms and legs and decide finally to roll out of bed, you relish this perfect morning -- until you get a whiff of your own breath, that is.
Why is morning breath so awful? When you sleep, you produce less saliva than when you're awake (and therefore eating, drinking and speaking). Saliva contains oxygen, and oxygen deters the growth of bacteria [source: Dellorto].
Unfortunately, "morning breath" is a misnomer. Your mouth can become dry during the day, too. And a dry mouth -- whether it's at midnight or noon -- can quickly cause bad breath. You need plenty of saliva because it helps clean your mouth; it's naturally antibacterial, and it washes away food particles. Banish morning breath by brushing your teeth, cleaning your tongue and rinsing with mouthwash. To keep your saliva flowing throughout the day, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. You also could stimulate saliva production by sucking on a mint or chewing gum, but these are only temporary solutions. Find out why on the next page.