We all know the feeling. You go to bed with minty-fresh breath only to wake up in the morning smelling like a sewer rat made a home in your mouth.
As with pretty much everything else, science has figured out exactly why you wake up with morning stink mouth.
During the day, our saliva helps to keep the bacteria in our mouth at bay. At night, however, we don’t produce as much saliva, which means the colonies of bacteria in our gobs have a massive party and eat all of the small food particles and dead cells available.
Your rancid morning breath occurs because the bacteria produce a bunch of different stinky compounds as waste products.
Four of which are…
1. Methanethiol: this compound has the smell of rotting cabbage (AKA fart smell).
2. Isovaleric acid: this guy is responsible for that cheesy, stinky foot smell after a long day of wearing your shoes. (Post continues after gallery.)
3. Cadaverine: This has been said to cause a smell of rotting fish or rotting flesh. *Vom*
4. Hydrogen Sulfide: This compound smells of rotting egg.
So if you wake up to someone telling you your breath smells like poo in the morning – they’re probably not far off.
So what can you do to prevent bad breath? Well, unless you're willing to get up during the night to brush your teeth at regular intervals, it's just one of those delightful things we all need to deal with.
Certain foods however can make the morning situation worse, with things like garlic, onion, cheese, wine and coffee often cited as being contributors to smelly breath.