Do you notice that your breath smells when you wake up each morning? Have you found yourself asking the question “can snoring cause bad breath” on more than one occasion? You’re in the right place.
In this article, we’ll explain the truth about whether snoring can cause bad breath, as well as telling you the solution to your foul-smelling troubles.
Snoring: The Cause Of Bad Breath Or A Convenient Scapegoat?
Mouth breathing and snoring is a significant cause of bad breath. Mouth breathing dries your mouth’s mucous membrane – that’s the smooth, wet lining of your mouth. Saliva is a natural antibacterial agent, so when this dries up as a result of mouth breathing, it becomes easier for those bugs to grow.
The resulting bacteria change and multiply, before beginning to release sulphur-based compounds, often in the form of gases. These are sometimes referred to as Volatile Sulphur Compounds (VSCs) and give the smell that results in bad breath. Saliva, therefore, plays a critical role in the prevention of bad breath1.
How To Combat Bad Breath
We often hear about trying to improve our mouth odours through good oral hygiene including brushing our teeth, flossing and using mouth washes to remove these harmful bacteria. Good follow up dental care is also critical to ensure that there are no carriers that harbour the same odorous bacteria.
It’s also vital that we ensure that there are no other medical conditions that may also be causative, such as sinusitis. In this search for a cause of bad breath, it is interesting to consider how critical saliva is2 and to understand how dramatically mouth breathing and snoring may affect it.
What Does The Research Say?
There has been much research that links bad breath (halitosis) with alcohol intake and obesity. Interestingly, both of these are also factors that increase snoring3.
It could be that people who drink more alcohol and are obese are more likely to snore, therefore drying their mouth membranes and increasing sulphur producing bacteria around their mouth and gums. However, it is also possible that the mechanism is completely separate, and that alcohol and obesity are independently able to cause bad breath.
This 2007 research paper by Rosenberg does seem to confirm the link between alcohol intake, obesity and halitosis. It arguably appears the simplest explanation and certainly one to closely consider when looking for an answer.
In this search though, it is interesting to consider that our snoring could be contributing to the bacteria in our mouths that cause bad breath. Therefore, if we can address our snoring, we may not need to try and prevent the smell of the VSCs or to try and ‘cover up’ the issues. By addressing the snoring, we may be able to tackle the issue at its root.
How To Stop Snoring To Prevent Bad Breath
The problem is that snoring itself is not the easiest condition to cure. In fact, you may be interested to read this article, for more detailed information on stopping snoring: “What Can I do to Stop Snoring?”.
When considering the research around this link we must also consider that the issues arise, not just from snoring but also from mouth breathing. For this reason, mouth devices that are worn overnight may not be the right solution. Even when they are effective in preventing snoring, it is unlikely to be as effective in reducing halitosis and dry mouth. In fact, if the device encourages an open mouth and therefore increases mouth breathing, it could even make the issue of bad breath worse.
Few devices offer solutions to snoring without having to wear a device at night.
Snorgo is one such device.
Snorgo is a simple device that offers a potential ongoing solution to not snoring at night without needing to wear a device overnight. Snorgo is used during the day at the user’s convenience. The current trial suggests using the device for one minute, three times per day, with some users beginning to see a benefit in their first week. Ideally, this exercise is continued for 6 weeks to help strengthen the palate and stop it from becoming as floppy.
Whilst highlighting bacteria, it may also be of interest to learn that Snorgo is a device that has taken the trouble to incorporate Biomaster technology, who have been pioneers in antimicrobial additives. Check out how Biomaster works with Snorgo or the Biomaster website for more details.
In short, there is little doubt that snoring can contribute to bad breath by drying out the membranes of our mouths, causing bacteria to build up. Saliva is one of the mouth’s primary defence systems, but mouth breathing and snoring can contribute to the removal of saliva.
Whilst other causes of bad breath are well recognised, when considering your own problem, if you have ruled out other conditions, you may wish to consider snoring as a potential issue. If you want to explore options for addressing your snoring, we have directed you to further papers that might help.
It’s important to be aware though that many snoring devices, in particular those worn at night, may not help the mouth-drying issue and therefore, even if they do help with your snoring, may not stop the bad breath.
Snorgo however is different. Rather than simply reducing the snoring, it works to tackle the root cause through exercise. This can potentially offer you a solution to both your snoring and your bad breath.
For more information about Snorgo, click here
- Motta LJ, Bachiega JC, Guedes CC, Laranja LT, Bussadori SK. Association between halitosis and mouth breathing in children. Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2011;66(6):939-42. doi: 10.1590/s1807-59322011000600003.
- Van Den Broek, A., Feenstra, L. and De Baat, C. (2008), A review of the current literature on management of halitosis. Oral Diseases, 14: 30-39.
- Rosenberg M, Knaan T, Cohen D. Association among Bad Breath, Body Mass Index, and Alcohol Intake. Journal of Dental Research. 2007;86(10):997-1000.
Dr Pete Naylor is the inventor of Snorgo, a patented snoring cure made in the UK recommended by medical doctors.
Wirral CCG Chair 2014 – 2016
General Practitioner (GP) 2000-2017
National Institute for health and Care Excellence National GP representative (Diagnostics) 2012 – 2018
Associate Medical Director ICE Creates 2018 – 2020
Senate Council Member Merseyside 2014 – 2017
Forensic Medical Examiner Merseyside/Wirral 2005 – 2008
Youth Justice Management Board Wirral 2015 – 2017
NHS Doctor 1996 – 2017
GMC registered Doctor 1996 to present
Master of Science in Medical Leadership Birkbeck University and Royal College of Physicians. (Awarded Merit) 2013
OPP Myers Briggs Trainer, 2010. Subsequently also completed Step 2 to further support training
Diploma in Occupational Health, 2006
Diploma in Child Health, 2000
Bachelor of Medicine & Surgery, Sheffield University, 1996
Bachelor of Science, Psychiatric Neurobiology, Sheffield, 1995. Work produced papers on mRNA and Brain Plasticity.
Outstanding Innovative and Inspirational Leader 2013 Northwest Leadership Academy (Given for commissioning work with Wirral Health Commissioning Consortium.)
Vision Award 2012 (National award): Best Long Term Condition Initiative for WHCC
North West Respiratory Best Practice Award 2012: Self Care Award for WHCC
Diploma in Occupational Health – annual award