Many things can cause a foul taste in the mouth, says an ENT doctor.

Sooner or later, most people will find they have a foul taste in their mouth either upon awakening for the day, or upon awakening sometime in the middle of the night.

“Many things can cause a foul taste in the mouth,” says Dr. Stacey Silvers, MD, of Madison ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery in NYC, who is board certified in otolaryngology.

“Poor dental hygiene, tonsil stones (buildup of old food particles mixed with oral bacteria), chronic sinus infections (old mucous sitting in the sinuses) and acid reflux.”

Acid Reflux As Cause of Overnight Foul Taste in Mouth 

“Stomach contents that reflux up is a common cause of a foul taste and foul breath,” says Dr. Silvers.

“Often patients will not feel heartburn or indigestion, making the diagnosis more difficult.”

Treatment for Foul Taste in Mouth that Occurs Overnight

“Conservative treatment entails avoiding eating three hours before bed and sleeping on a back wedge to allow gravity to keep acid in the stomach,” says Dr. Silvers.

“With sinus issues patients will have sinus pressure over the cheeks and/or forehead.

“Natural sinus washes [with a neti pot] can be helpful to clear old mucous from the nose and sinuses.

“Reflux medication over the counter can be tried for possible reflux.”

An NYC expert in ear, nose and throat care, Dr. Silvers has been named among America’s Top Physicians and Surgeons in facial plastic surgery and otolaryngology numerous times since 2003.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer. 
Top image: Shutterstock/Marius Pirvu