How to avoid bad breath in Ramadan

Complaints of bad breath go up by 60 per cent during Ramadan, a dentist at a leading dental clinic said

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Dubai: Complaints of bad breath go up by a steep 60 per cent during Ramadan, a dentist at a leading dental clinic said.

"During Ramadan, some people experience bad breath as the salivary glands do not produce enough saliva to keep the breath fresh. Dryness of mouth caused by fasting leads to bad breath," said Dr Rana Al Thib, General Dentist at Hibah Shata Specialised Dental Clinic, Dubai Healthcare City.

She said most people do not brush their teeth during Ramadan as a result of which they suffer all day. "To prevent bad breath, continue brushing your teeth normally. Be absolutely sure not to swallow anything," she said, adding, "Even if you're not eating during the day, you should still brush your teeth when you wake up as you normally would. Brush again after eating suhour."

She said it is advisable for people to drink plenty of water during suhour - at least two to three glasses - as it helps keep them hydrated the next day.

"You should also remember to floss your teeth as part of your normal daily dental hygiene," she said.

Dr Al Thib said mouthwashes are acceptable during Ramadan since they are not swallowed.

"However, stay away from alcohol-based mouthwashes as they make the mouth drier and lead to more problems," she cautioned.

According to studies, digestive juices released in the absence of food during fasting begin to break down and affect the lining of the stomach that can result in foul odour that smells like stale food.

With insufficient saliva flowing into the mouth during fasting, the oral cavity dries up and the bacteria from the tongue and teeth, which is normally taken care of by saliva, begins to build up. This, along with the digestive juices, leads to foul odour.

Fat reserves in the body also release ketones which are pushed out along with the breath, adding to bad breath.

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