Ramadhan, as dentists say, is the most ideal time to take care of one’s oral health with not much time or effort being put in. “Good oral health is important for your total well-being while fasting and the holy month is suitable to attend to your oral issues. “The condition of the tissues and structures of your mouth affect your general physical condition, and ability to chew and speak confidently.
“It also affects your personal relations, especially while you stay abstinent from eating and drinking and you need to interact with a lot of people during day”, says Dr Mujeeb Hussain at the Assada Specialised Medical Centre, Mabela (south). “During the holy month of Ramadhan, One of the most common complaints while fasting is the bad breath that people experience. This condition, in medical terms, is called ‘halitosis’ caused primarily due to improper oral hygiene.
This is caused because many people avoid brushing their teeth during the day in Ramadhan. This is an unhealthy practice. While fasting people are exposed to symptoms like dry mouth, bad oral taste etc., a dry mouth represents the ideal home for odour- causing bacteria which flourish in this type of environment. Saliva normally keeps the mouth moist. Additionally, saliva helps wash away the food particles bacteria feed on and dissolves odorous volatile sulfur compounds”, Dr Mujeeb told the Observer.
Dentists commonly advocate the main causative factors for Bad breath as systemic ailments like diabetes, kidney disease, stomach upset, local factors such as a dirty tongue, cavities in the teeth, gum disease caused by plaque and tartar, dirty dentures, false teeth and other fixed appliances in the mouth. They say maintaining healthy teeth and an attractive smile while fasting is not difficult if the believer uses the hours after sunset (iftar) to care for his/her oral hygiene.
“A number of ways are there to maintain your oral hygiene this month. One of them is to drink plenty of water after sunset to flush your mouth from all food particles. Then follow a strict daily routine of brushing and flossing as a part of Ramadhan like it is a part of your daily routine in every other month, use mouthwash before sunrise containing chlorine dioxide are the latest advance against bad breath. Those who have sweet tooth, a word of caution for them.
“Avoid sweets and sticky food, carbonated soft drinks as much possible, and maintain a healthy diet. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Finally, avoid smoking as you may never get one more chance to quit this bad habit”, Dr Mujeeb Hussain concluded.