What causes bad breath while fasting?
- Poor oral hygiene – Bacterial plaque build-ups are a known cause of bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease.
- Improper cleaning of dentures – Like teeth, dentures can retain bacteria, tartar and cause bad breath when they are not cleaned properly.
- Smoking – including cigarettes, cigars and shisha
- Nutrition – Some food may aggravate the bad smell, such as onion, garlic and some kind of spices.
- Dry mouth – Also known as xerostomia, dry mouth is one of the major causes of bad breath. It is caused by an insufficient flow of saliva and is a common side effect of certain medications and a symptom of some medical conditions.
- Other non-oral conditions – including nose, sinus, throat or digestive disorders
Reasons for bad breath during fasting
– Poor dental health habits including rarely brushing teeth and cleaning the tongue
– Problems with teeth and mouth, including cavities, gingivitis (gum disease), and stomatitis
– Certain diseases such as high stomach acid disease (GERD), diabetes, kidney disease, liver problems, or respiratory infections
– Poorly fitted dental appliances, yeast infections of the mouth, and cavities.
– Smoking and chewing tobacco-based products
How to prevent bad breath while fasting?
- Practice excellent oral hygiene to efficiently eliminate plaque
- Eat fruits and vegetables as consuming these foods can increase saliva production and curb the development of bad breath-causing bacteria in the mouth
- Avoid salty, fried, sweet and sticky foods after you break your fast. Foods or drinks high in sugar content can stimulate bacteria growth, leading to bad breath
- Cut down on diuretics like coffee, tea, soda, and all other caffeinated drinks
- Do not smoke
- Hydration is very important. Drink plenty of water during Iftar, rinse your mouth with water during the fasting hours without swallowing it.
Dr Amir’s top tips for maintaining a healthy oral hygiene routine during Ramadan?
- Brush your teeth thoroughly before sleeping at night and I recommend brushing after Suhoor (pre-dawn meal) for at least 2 minutes
- Floss at least once a day
- Clean your tongue using a tongue scraper or separate toothbrush
- Use alcohol-free mouthwash
- Avoid sugary food and drinks as it can increase the amount of bacteria in your mouth
- Avoid caffeine, excess salt and other foods that lead to dehydration