Why Bad Breath During Fasting?

Do you experience a foul-smelling odour from your mouth during the period of lent? Do you find it difficult to communicate with others during your period of fasting? Have you ever felt isolated during a period of fasting because you feel inferior cos of the foul odour oozing from your breath?

Why Bad Breath During Fasting? Are you aware that such experiences are a bit normal? I mean experiencing bad breath during fasting and lent quite normal and understandable, in that, there are reasons behind it.

Reasons For Bad Breath During Fasting

  • Fasting involves the willing abstinence or reduction of some or all food, drink or both for a while. Most individuals who engage in fasting usually engage in dry fast; that is, total abstinence of food for certain hours of the day. Others may abstain for days depending on the type of fast. A religion such as Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hindu etc. all indulges in this activity.

The activity is not geared towards ketosis; to them, it is a spiritual exercise which every member must partake for either spiritual cleansing, enlightenment, or to offer supplication to the almighty. A religion such as Christianity gives its members the free will to decide when to indulge in the activity, usually at any time of their choice.

But there are general times where all Christians may converge depending on their sub-group (Catholics, Pentecostals, Methodists etc.) to engage in a general fast.

Others such as Islam generally engage in a fast at specific times of the year usually twice as the case may be determined by Mecca.

Engaging in fasting involves keeping the mouth dry from food. When the mouth is dry, the probability of you experiencing bad breath is higher. This is because the mouth is not moist enough to remain neat. The saliva has an important role in the mouth, that is, to keep the mouth rinsed and moist when it is dry.

  • During fasting, individuals are usually engaged in many conversations, this advertently leads to bad breath. The conversation may not be with humans but with God as they may believe. The conversation results through prayer and supplication of their needs and wants.

When a person has not eaten and engage in much talking, it dries the mouth and this leads to mouth odour. Bad breath is not planned for, it is as a result of certain actions conscious and unconscious which people take.

  • Just like ketogenic dieting, fasting also burns down excess fat in the body. People who engage in ketosis often experience bad breath, since it is a sign that the ketosis is working. When the body burns fats, the waste is removed from the body in the form of urine, sweat and breath.

So during fasting one may experience bad breath since the liver is conditioned to produce ketones which aid in the breakdown of carbohydrate.

  •  Have you ever noticed that after brushing in the morning and one does not take in food, as he/she regularly does, over a while, the person begins to experience bad odour from the mouth? This is because the mouth is used to taking food after brushing.

The body has been programmed that way. So not taking in food substances to keep the mouth warm, leads to experiencing bad breath during the period of fast.

  •   During fasting, some individuals who are not engaged in praying, usually stay silent or closes their mouth. When the mouth is over closed such that air cannot penetrate it, this leads to bad breath during fasting.

Just like when you sleep at night or during the day and wake up to perceive that foul odour, it’s the same. It is however advised, that the mouth should be opened to receive air from time to time; so that the bad breath may be exchanged with air.

  • During fasting some pious individuals may not feel the need to bring water in contact with their mouth, hence they do not brush their teeth. Needless to say, that not brushing their teeth leads to experiencing bad breath.

Bacterias and Germs which have stayed overnight needs to be removed through brushing the teeth and tongue effectively. Also, the food particles of the previous day need to be expelled from the mouth. Those particles decay and grow stale, leaving the mouth dirty and smelling. However, brushing daily is very important.

Still on “Why Bad Breath During Fasting?”. let’s take a good look at how to stop bad breath when fasting.

How Can I Stop Bad Breath When Fasting?

Stopping bad breath when fasting is not such a difficult task. There are several things you will have to put to work to get rid of bad breath when fasting. They are;

  • Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Putting a stop to bad breath while fasting is not difficult when you learn to practice good oral hygiene. Some persons neglect their oral responsibility just because they are fasting. Such actions are not commendable.

In whatever you do your body should come first because without the body then whatever you want to do becomes impossible. Just imagine during the fast, while praying along with others, your mouth begins to emit a malodor.

This will surely make those around you uncomfortable and possibly leave where you are. To avoid that, it is important to take your oral upkeep serious when fasting.

Before morning prayers, you should brush your teeth. Before bedtime, it is also expedient that you brush your teeth. This way, you may not have an issue with bad breath or you can stop smelly breath during the fast.

Also, while brushing, do not neglect your tongue. Majority of oral bacteria reside deep inside the tongue. For some persons that’s where their bad breath comes from. While brushing, use the toothbrush to brush out specks of dirt that have grown stale.

The inability to do this daily, you unknowingly empower oral bacteria to cause more oral malodor. To get rid of the dirt on your tongue, you should use a tongue scraper. With it, you can reach deep inside your tongue and remove the dirt.

Flossing is also as important as brushing and tongue scraping. There is debris that seems docile in-between the teeth. It is necessary to get rid of those particles because over time, they decay and cause more harm to your teeth.

Plaque buildup, tartar formation, gingivitis and periodontal diseases result from the inability of flossing regularly. There are places your toothbrush cannot get into as pertaining t That is where the flossing comes in.

  • Drink Lots Of Water

During the period of fast, you barely take in food and water. This can cause bad breath in that when starving the liver burns ketones because it lacks enough insulin in the body to convert sugar to energy. That is why when you are starved you often experience an odour from your mouth.

To put a stop to this, it is proper to consume lots of water. When fasting, the moth becomes dry. The oral tissues become unable to lubricate itself due to the reduced level of saliva.

The salivary function of lubricating and moisturizing the mouth becomes deficient and due to this, bad breath becomes inevitable.

Drinking lots of water helps to lubricate the mouth and water the oral tissues to help fight bad breath.

  • Avoid Smoking When Fasting

Smoking has its effect on your mouth, coupled with fasting period then I guess your bad breath can get a lot worse than it was. It is grossly improper to smoke in periods of lent.

Smoking dries the oral tissues there is nothing that affects the oral tissue as much as the impact of smoking on it. Bad breath and other oral health problems results due to smoking.

So when fasting to get rid of bad breath, if you are a smoker it is wise to abstain from smoking during the lent period.

  • Take Yoghurt During A Break Period

Probiotics such as yoghurt can help get rid of bad breath during fasting. Yoghurt contains live bacteria and it is used for therapeutic reasons. It is food by bacteria fermentation of milk. The bacteria used in the production of it is yoghurt cultures.

The fermentation of lactose by these bacteria produces lactic acid, which acts on milk protein to give yoghurt its texture and characteristic tart flavour.

So yoghurt can help get rid of bad breath during fasting. During break periods, you can purchase a cup of yoghurt to soothe your mouth.

  • Avoid Drink Coffee When Fasting

Coffee affects your mouth. overconsumption of coffee can lead to dry mouth. Dry mouth cayuse bad breath.

  • Eat Healthy Fruits During a Break Period

Fruits can also help you defeat bad breath during periods of fasting. Some fruits can help soothe your mouth and repel odour causing bacteria. Such fruits include broccoli, cherries, cucumber, citrus fruits and watermelon.

They can also help boost your immune system and help you get rid of bad breath.

  • Sugar-free Mint Gum

Sugar-free mint gum can help a great deal when having bad breath during fasting periods. It can help mask the bad breath, such that what others perceive from your breath is the sweet aroma of the gum.

  • Oral Spray

Carrying oral spray around can also help put a stop to bad breath during the fasting period. The spray works like the mint gum. When it is applied, it can mask your smelly breath giving out a good scent.

  • Avoid Eating Garlic

Eating garlic during fasting periods is not advisable. It can further increase the issue of bad breath. It is good to abstain from it for the time being.

watch this short video about smelly breath when fasting.

Does Fasting Make You Stink?

Fasting does not make anybody stink. Some persons may stink when on fasting, this doesn’t mean that it was caused by the fast. The reason why most people stink is due to poor body maintenance.

The inability and nonchalance of some people to take good care of their body is what causes body odour and not fasting. During fasting, irrespective of whether you are committed to the fast, this should not stop your commitment to your body.

Everyone should commit to their body hygiene. It is very proper to take your bath at least twice a day. When you do this coupled with other things, you can be sure of smelling nice.

But neglecting it is what causes body odour and it can happen at any time even when fasting.

Why Does Breath Smell Bad When Not Eating?

You probably notice that you often have bad breath when you are yet to consume food, probably in the morning or whenever you are starving. The reason for this is due to two factors, they are;

Firstly, when starving due to your inability to take in food and water, it affects your mouth. the oral tissues become dry which affects the saliva. It reduces the amount of salivary production. The saliva has the function of lubricating and moisturizing the mouth.

In the absence of enough saliva to lubricate the mouth, the oral bacteria thrive more causing bad breath. The acids which are released from the breaking down of food substance is what causes bad breath or halitosis when you have not eaten.

Secondly,  during hunger or ketosis, which is a metabolic state in which the body produces ketones to be used as fuel by some organs so that glycogen can be reserved for organs that needs it.

Does it sound confusing? OK let me break it down. In hunger, the body produces ketones; they are chemicals produced by your liver. Your liver produces this chemical because it lacks enough insulin in your body to convert sugar into energy. So the other source of energy the body turns to is Fat. Your body(liver) turns the Fat into ketones and sends them down the bloodstream.

Do you get it? So these ketones which are released by your liver is the reason why you have bad breath during ketosis or whenever you are starved, on fasting or a weight loss diet.

Have you noticed that whenever you are hungry, as in very hungry, you often perceive an unusual odour from your breath? This odour is a result of ketones being released by your liver when Fats are burnt.

Is It Ok To Use Toothpaste While Fasting?

Using a toothpaste while fasting is not wrong. It is very okay to use toothpaste to brush your teeth while on fasting. The toothpaste does not affect your fasting.

While fasting it is important to have a fresh breath, so brushing with toothpaste will guarantee such. Some are confused about whether or not to use toothpaste to brush their teeth while fasting.

There are even those who are even confused about whether or not to brush when fasting. But that’s highly unlikely, since, when you are on a pilgrimage which warrants a fast, your bad breath that results from your inability to brush your mouth will be embarrassing.

When using a toothpaste use a fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth properly, this will help you prevent bad breath and also keep your teeth and enamel strong and healthy. Before buying any toothpaste in a grocery store, look out if it contains fluoride and if it is prescribed.


Bad breath during fasting is a bit normal, it can affect anyone. but when you notice it, ensure you pay close attention to the points I listed above.

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