Morning Breath – Me?

By Ling

Morning breath is defined as offensive odour of the mouth upon awakening

Before the boyfriend, My Dorky, leaves for work in the morning, he comes into my room to give me a kiss.  This morning, I refused him.  Why?  Because my breath reeked like no tomorrow.  I, Ling Tung, aged 20-something, had morning breath!  I was horrified and actually got up to brush my teeth, kiss him goodbye and then go back to sleep.

Usually, I have no such problem but somehow, I have acquired the dreaded morning breath and there’s a reason why.  Let’s look at the possible suspects :-

a)  Change in diet?

Eating foul-smelling foods, e.g. durian, garlic bread, smelly tofu, before sleeping at night

b)  Change in normal sleeping behaviour?

Sleeping with mouth open thereby decreasing saliva flow which means more formation of bacteria

c)  Bedtime visits by suicidal spiders?

Spiders like to commit suicide by being swallowed by sleeping humans and the arachnoid corpse can emit a rotting smell

d)  Sleepwalking flatmate needs the toilet?

…and mistakes your gaping sleeping mouth to be a toilet and urinates in your oral cavity; while you’re dreaming of drinking warm milk to put you to sleep

e)  Change in toothbrushing habits?

And the answer is…. e)  change in toothbrushing habits

In Scotland, the toothbrushing routine I recommend is – brush, spit and DON’T rinse!  When I tell people that, they look at me as if I am daft!  Yes, a daft dentist who went to university for 6 years and doesn’t know how to brush teeth properly!!  Yes, they seem to know better than me!!!

“What do you mean ‘Don’t rinse’?  Are you sure?  I’ve never heard that before!”

Yes, don’t rinse!  It’s like that time when you were a child but someone told you that Santa Claus does NOT exist and your whole world was shattered.  Sometimes I love the expressions and gasps which are given off when I shatter their lifetime belief of rinsing after brushing.  And yet, most of the toothbrushing instruction I give, are to people who DON’T brush their teeth because frankly, they DON’T give a d@mn so it goes in one ear and out the other.

Anyway, don’t rinse.  Why?  Two words – water fluoridation.

Water fluoridation is defined as the addition of fluoride to public drinking water to reduce tooth decay

Only 10% of UK – mainly West Midlands and North East – have fluoridated water.  In Scotland, there is zilch and it needs it the most as it has one of the highest rates of tooth decay – but instead, Scotland has Irn Bru – a fizzy drink with high sugar content!

Therefore, in Scotland, I would brush my teeth, spit and not rinse out the toothpaste suds – and in doing so, it would maximise the amount of fluoride in my mouth, protecting my teeth from tooth decay but also, keeping my mouth minty fresh in the morning.

However, in Australia, there is water fluoridation measures (except in Brisbane) and so, my toothbrushing routine has changed to brush, spit and rinse.

And that rinsing step has given me yukky morning breath.  GAH!

In conclusion :  Referring to my last blog post about dish-washing, I’d much rather rinse dishes than rinse my mouth!

For more information about water fluoridation and whether you should rinse or don’t rinse, please refer to this link.


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