The Holy month of Ramadan is a time for fasting and self-discipline for Muslims. It is also the time for purifying the mind and the body and empathizing with the less fortunate.
Fasting has numerous therapeutic benefits including improvement in blood sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
SEE ALSO: Ramadan and Oral Health: What You Need to Know
To help you ensure good oral hygiene practices during the fasting period. Here’s some insight from Dr Major Pravin Prathip J
What causes bad breath?
- 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
How does bad breath occur during the fasting period?
Saliva plays an important role in protecting your mouth and decreasing bacterial growth. The reduction of salivary flow while fasting is the main reason for bad breath. After Iftar, the salivary glands are soon stimulated and the production of saliva becomes normal.
Is there a way to prevent bad breath while fasting?
Here are some important tips to prevent bad breath while fasting.
- Practice excellent oral hygiene to efficiently eliminate plaque.
- Eat fruits and vegetables and avoid salty, fried and sticky food.
- Cut down on diuretics like coffee, tea, soda and all other caffeinated drinks.
- Do not smoke.
- Drink plenty of water during Iftar, rinse your mouth with water during the fasting hours without swallowing it.
What are your top tips for maintaining a healthy oral hygiene routine during Ramadan?
Oral hygiene during the holy month of Ramadan does not differ from your routine dental hygiene.
- Brush 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 tongue scrapers or separate toothbrush.
- Use alcohol-free mouthwash.