Tips to prevent bad breath while fasting

Apart from being hungry and thirsty, bad breath also often makes fasting people less comfortable and lazy to interact with other people. What exactly causes bad breath while fasting and how to prevent it?

Bad breath or halitosis is one of the most common complaints when fasting. Bad breath while fasting, of course, creates a feeling of insecurity, especially when talking to other people. Finally, daily activities can also be disrupted.

Causes of bad breath while fasting

At the time of fasting, the absence of chewed food makes the production of saliva is reduced. As a result, conditions in the oral cavity become drier & bad breath appears. This is because saliva is useful to help clean up food debris that causes bad breath. In addition, saliva also contains enzymes that can fight bacteria in the oral cavity.

Several studies have stated that bad breath during fasting is also caused by increased concentrations of volatile sulfur compounds (VSC). VSCs are sulfur compounds or gaseous components produced by bacteria present in the oral cavity and in certain foods, such as garlic.

This compound has an unpleasant odor and evaporates easily, causing an odor that can be smelled by those around you.

Prevent bad breath while fasting

There are few ways you can do to prevent bad breath while fasting, including:

1. Diligently brushing teeth and tongue

Brushing your teeth regularly at least twice a day is one way to keep your teeth and mouth clean. During fasting, brushing your teeth can be done after eating suhur and before going to bed at night.

Make sure you brush your teeth thoroughly, including in between. In addition to the teeth, the tongue must also be cleaned or brushed to remove bacteria and food debris that is still attached.

2. Use mouthwash

In addition to brushing your teeth and tongue, rinse your mouth with a mouthwash that doesn’t contain alcohol. This aims to kill the bacteria that cause bad breath. Mouthwash that contains alcohol is not recommended because it makes the mouth dry.

3. Drink lots of water at suhoor and iftar

Drinking enough water at suhoor and iftar can increase saliva production, thereby preventing dryness of the oral cavity which causes bad breath.

4. Increase consumption of fruits and vegetables at suhoor and iftar

Fruits and vegetables can also increase saliva production. The advised fruits are apples, pears, oranges, and melons.

5. Avoid bad-smelling foods

Certain foods, such as garlic and onions, can cause bad breath, even up to 3 days after consuming them. When eating these foods, don’t forget to brush your teeth immediately so that the smell doesn’t stick in your mouth.

6. Avoid smoking

Cigarettes contain tobacco which causes bad breath. In addition, smoking can also have a negative impact on overall body health.


If bad breath persists even though you have applied the methods above, you should consult a dentist. There may be a problem with the teeth that causes bad breath, such as cavities, plaque, or tartar. Therefore, it is recommended to regularly check your teeth and mouth to the dentist, at least every 6 months.

However, if the cause of bad breath is another medical condition, such as acid reflux disease (GERD) or sinusitis, your dentist can refer you to an internist or ENT doctor.

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