Most people are aware that eating smelly foods can cause bad breath, but did you know that avoiding food has the potential to do the same? That's right. Regardless of the reason for fasting, missing out on meals can lead to halitosis.
Consider that many practicing Muslims are currently celebrating Ramadan, a month-long religious observance in which devotees refrain from eating or drinking anything during the daytime. Dr. Rana Al Thib of Dubai Healthcare City recently told Gulf News that this practice can lead to bad breath.
How? It's fairly simple, she said. Without regular meals or fluids, the mouth slows its production of saliva. Without this bacteria-fighting moisture in the mouth, your tongue and palate can start breeding billions of extra bacteria. A study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association concurs, stating that too little saliva essentially makes it open season for microbial growth.
The same is true, of course, for people who regularly skip breakfast or lunch, who work all day without a meal break or who even must avoid all food and drink in preparation for a medical procedure.
Treating fasting-related oral odor may be as simple as rinsing at night with a specialty breath freshener or an oral care probiotics rinse.