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BlogRamadan and oral health

Ramadan and oral health

Dr. Elmira

The holy month of Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting to commemorate the first revelation of Quran to prophet Mohammad according to Islamic belief.

Fasting allows learning self-restraint from indulgence in everyday pleasures, developing self-control and self-discipline, purifying the mind and the body, and empathizing with the poor and hungry in addition it has many health advantages such as:

  1. Improving blood sugar, which could be especially useful for those at risk of diabetes
  2. Help decrease levels of inflammation and help promote better health.
  3. Cause lower risk of coronary heart disease and may help lower blood pressure.
  4. Improve brain function, increase nerve cell synthesis and protect against neurodegenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s.
  5. Increase metabolism and help preserve muscle tissue to reduce body weight and body fat.

Oral health and bad breath major causes:

Bad breath, also known as oral malodor or halitosis, is a very common and treatable condition due to numerous reasons

  1. General oral health:
    Most bad breath is caused by poor oral hygiene. If you don’t clean your teeth and your whole mouth regularly, food particles can remain in your mouth and a sticky buildup of bacteria (also known as plaque) can form on your teeth. The uneven surface of your tongue, as well as your tonsils, can trap food particles and bacteria in the mouth which produce bad breath odor. Poor oral hygiene also causes other oral health conditions such as cavities and gum disease which are also associated with bad breath
  2. Eating certain Food & Drink
    Onions, garlic, certain vegetables, and spices odor-causing food particles enter the bloodstream and are carried to the lungs, where they affect the odor of your breath each time you exhale.
  3. Smoking:
    Tobacco products - whether it’s cigarettes, chew, or pipe - all cause bad breath and lead to much more serious oral health issues. Apart from leaving your mouth smelling like an ashtray, they damage the gum tissue and cause gum disease.
  4. Dry mouth:
    Also known as xerostomia, dry mouth is one of the major causes of bad breath. It is caused by an insufficient flow of saliva and is a common side effect of certain medications and a symptom of some medical conditions.
  5. Improper cleaning of dentures (artificial removable teeth):
    Dentures can cause retain bacteria, tartar and induce bad breath when they are not cleaned properly.
  6. Other non-oral conditions: Such as sinusitis, digestive disorders also can be cause of bad breath.

How to improve and prevent bad breath during Ramadan?

  • Visit your dentist to check your oral health and if necessitate remove dental plaques and tartar by your dentist
  • Brush your teeth with baking soda at least once a week
  • Floss your teeth regularly
  • Clean your tongue
    Go the extra mile of getting a tongue scraper and it will change your life and your breath. Clean your tongue gently twice a day.
  • Use alcohol-free mouth-wash.
  • Drink lots of water
    Dehydration may be the main reason why your breath is unbearable. After iftar, make sure you’re constantly drinking water through the night before the next day of fasting.
  • Avoid coffee
    To some of us, this may be easier said than done. But think of this month as the best time for caffeine detox.
  • Avoid smoking

Take care of your teeth while you are fasting:

It is extremely important to brush your teeth while fasting. The bacterial plaque will form more heavily and quickly because of the lack of chewing which stimulates our antibacterial saliva, and lack of chewing foods that help keep our teeth clean. Brush your teeth normally with your toothpaste while you fast during Ramadan, but be careful you don't swallow anything. You can use any fluoride toothpaste, but make sure you don't gulp it down. you can use your mouth wash also as an adjunct oral-hygiene therapy outside fasting hours as advised by your dentist.

Dental treatments and preventative procedure:

 Muslims patients may perceive that some dental treatments and preventive procedures invalidate the fast even though most dental treatment will not break the fast. (This includes scaling, restorations, and extractions).

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