The holy month of Ramadan 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
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
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
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.