A Night Out & Next Morning Care

Fresh Breath the Morning After Alcohol: Tips from Dr. Lewis Gross

Bad breath and a sickly morning-after smile are handicaps from a Hampton’s night of overindulgence. Bombarded with carbonated drinks and excessive alcohol, our mouths become dehydrated… forced into a state of stress, degeneration, and hangover halitosis. The lack of quality saliva creates an acidic oral environment that, according to the Ecological Plaque Hypothesis, promotes the growth of the bad bacteria that cause decay and bad breath. An Alkaline Oral Cleanse, raising the salivary pH, combats these challenges by neutralizing regurgitation and balancing the mouth microbiome.

Foods and beverages with a pH lower than 7 will affect salivary pH both systemically and topically, but the main culprit to foul mouth is the acidic waste products of certain mouth-dwelling anaerobic germs. These bacteria live in infected root canals and periodontal food traps, where they feed on processed carbohydrates.  As plaque adheres to the teeth, it petrifies germs, who happily gather there to release their sulfur-smelling poop. 

Dead bacteria, old food, and skin cells decay, contributing to inflammation and receding of the gums. This inflammation is associated with chronic gingivitis and if not treated can become aggressive periodontitis, which is known to manifest in an acidic oral environment. 

The body defense systems to combat acidity and bad breath is its own saliva. The protective properties of saliva increase when stimulated, and include oral clearance rate, the buffering system, and the degree of saturation with respect to tooth mineral content. 

Salivary glands, which weaken as we age, can be activated by performing facial exercises, like stretching wide and yawing and massaging these glands. Besides alcohol and coffee, many OTC medications cause dry mouth. Ulcers, cold sores, canker sores are worsened by alcohol, which dries the mucous membranes..


  1. Stay hydrated with alkaline water during and for the next day post-binging.
  2. Test your saliva with Litmus paper. If below 6.2 then you are acidic.
  3. Reduce smoking and vaping which dry out the mouth.
  4. Encourage a healthy oral microflora by getting your dentition up to code; frequent holistic dental cleanings, close food traps, and remove infected root canals with ozone.
  5. Drink lots of chamomile or peppermint tea before sleep. Preferably, avoid alcohol after dinner because whatever sits on the bolus of food will be the first to regurgitate at night.
  6. Detox your mouth immediately with a 5-day Alkaline Oral Cleanse. Rinse and gargle with effervescent Baking Soda, Coconut Oil, Xylitol, and Tea Tree Oil. 
  7. Alka-White: Alkaline Oral Care is a safe, natural, and convenient product to detox the mouth after drinking and before you drive. Leave a tablet in your car. Chew a piece of the tablet, rinse with water, and spit, to freshen breath and remove topical toxins.

Dr. Lewis Gross is a holistic dentist in Tribeca and the creator of Alka-white Mouthwash