The holy month of Ramadhan is once again around the corner, when Muslims all over the world will be fasting. One of the most common complaints during fasting is the bad breath that people experience. This condition, in medical terms, is called halitosis. What causes bad breath and how can it be prevented?
Within the human mouth there are numerous kinds of bacteria, which, as by-products, give out sulphides and ammonia which are the main causes of bad breath. Hence the amount of bacteria has to be controlled, and conditions that cause them to thrive have to be eliminated
These factors are:
1. Poor oral hygiene caused by not brushing or improper tooth brushing technique
2. A dirty tongue
3. Cavities in the teeth
4. Gum disease caused by plaque and tartar
5. Dirty dentures, false teeth and other fixed appliances in the mouth
After having identified the causes, we can now deal with how to prevent bad breath, especially while fasting.
1. Brushing one’s teeth after every meal, preferably early morning (at Sehri time)
2. Flossing one’s teeth which means cleaning between the teeth using special thread called dental floss. NB. Use of toothpicks is not advisable for this purpose.
3. Use of a tongue or using a toothbrush to clean the tongue.
4. Use of an anti-bacterial mouthwash. A non-alcoholic mouthwash should be used as alcohol causes a dry mouth which can aggravate the problem.
5. Cavities in the teeth should be filled promptly to prevent food accumulation within them.
6. Removal of tartar on teeth by a dentist at least once every six months.
7. Drink at least 2 –3 glasses of water at Sehri time.
A bad stomach can also cause bad breath so one would have to check on his diet during the holy month to prevent a stomach upset and halitosis.
Foul-smelling mouths are offensive to other people therefore it is important to spend some time and follow the simple precautions and methods mentioned to prevent this problem.