Halitosis, or bad breath, is commonly experienced by almost every single person around. While few experience it occasionally, some people have it on a regular basis. It causes humiliation to those suffering from the condition especially when the person is in close proximity to someone else. For those who are fasting, bad breath is a very common experience. Fasting and bad breath are strongly correlated because the body’s digestive juices are still attempting to mutliply and process, even without any food there to be digested.
Bad breath is caused by several factors some of which include teeth and gum problems, gastrointestinal tract and stomach problems such as gastritis, acidity, dyspepsia (digestive problems), reflux, etc, upper respiratory tract problems, lung problems and some illnesses such as colds, infections, fever, etc.
Some people may suffer from intermittent episodes of temporary or slight halitosis due to drying of the mouth (xerostomia), poor oral hygiene and during illness. Temporary bad breath may also be observed if the person is fasting and is on an empty stomach for a long time.
In the absence of food, there is the release of digestive juices that begins to break down and also has an effect on the lining of the stomach that can result in foul odor which smells like stale food.
Fasting also results in reduction in salivary flow in the mouth leading to dryness of the oral cavity that can end up causing a smell. This is due to the bacterial buildup that occurs as the saliva is not present to swill out the bacteria from the surfaces of the teeth and the tongue. This coupled with the rise of digestive juices adds up to the terrible odor emanating from the breath.
When a person goes without eating for a long time, the absence of food causes the body begins to break down the fat reserves. This breakdown of fat causes the release of ketones which are pushed out along with the breath and gives a foul odor that resembles the stench of sour apples.
When a person is about to go for a special occasion or if he/she is under a lot of stress and if they are fasting for a long time, there is an increase in the drying of the mouth and increased release of digestive juices because of the stress that will lead to bad breath.
If the person has habits such as smoking, then this is not considered halitosis, but it can certainly contribute to halitosis problems. Even the consumption of alcoholic drinks on an empty stomach can increase the incidence of problems.
To avoid bad breath associated with fasting, avoid being on an empty stomach for long lengths of time. Even if it is not possible to consume a full course meal, it will help if you make sure to have a small snack or even just a lot of water. This is usually very helpful when the person is experiencing anxiety before a special occasion.
When fasting, the use of some mint, chewing gum or lozenges can help because this increases the flow of saliva in the mouth and helps in better flushing out of the bacteria that causes bad breath.
Fasting for a long time is not a good idea, as it can have harmful effects on the digestive tract and also cause the breakdown of body fat reserves, all of which will lead to having a very smelly breath. Fasting and bad breath can be avoided with a simple combination of treatments and lots of water.