Treating Bad Breath Print

Islam teaches us personal hygiene, including oral hygiene, especially so when the rights of others are affected. Therein lies the origin of the Sunnah of the Friday bath and regular daily use of the Miswaak (tooth stick). Great care and consideration for the rights of fellow persons is also found in the following prohibition issued by Allah’s Messenger (salutations and peace be upon him), “He who has eaten onion or garlic or leek should not approach our masjid, because the angels are also offended by that which offend the children of Adam.” [Muslim]

Sensible eating habits and oral hygiene control bad breath, which is often caused by garlic, curry, alcohol and cigarettes. Digestive disorders and constipation are also causes. Professional help should be sought if the odour is not self-remedied.

Food odours can be remedied by chewing on the following after meals – cardamom, dill seeds, coffee beans, caraway or a sprig of fresh parsley. Regular brushing with Miswaak and/or a good toothbrush and consuming fibre rich foods (e.g. apples) help to massage the gums and keep them healthy. Use dental floss after meals

Problems in the mouth, nose, sinuses, lungs, stomach and digestive tract can cause bad breath. To relieve sinus problems, reduce dairy consumption and eat decongestants such as ginger, mustard, cinnamon and horseradish. Add 5 drops of eucalyptus oil to a bowl of hot water and inhale the steam for relief from congestion.   

Chronic chest infections require medical attention. Avoid smoking and have plenty of carrots, spinach, broccoli and citrus fruits. These contain beta carotene and vitamin C which help protect lung tissue.

Bad breath can also be triggered by constipation, ulcers and indigestion. Treat the cause by increasing fibre and fluid consumption. Have whole-wheat bread instead of white bread. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables and increase your water intake.

The state of your health
The smell of one’s breath can be an indication of the state of one’s health. Acetone smell may indicate diabetic coma, ammonia smell uraemia and a fishy smell that of liver failure. Bad breath however mostly originates in the mouth - bad teeth, abscess, tartar, inflamed and infected gums or rotting food in mouth crevices or ulcers.

Rights of others

Islam teaches us that our bodies have a rights over us. It should be properly cared for as our vehicle to serve Allah, ourselves and those to whom we have obligations. Maintaining good breath is not just a command for our own benefit, but showing consideration to others is also a meritorious act.
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