Mukhwas (Mouth Fresheners)
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Mouth Fresheners or Mukhwas is a digestive aid usually used after a meal. This is also used for avoiding halitosis or bad breath.
Halitosis is a common problem in most of the people which is consider as most troublesome and may lead to depression and even social neglect. There are many factors that can cause bad breath including poor oral hygiene, infection, and various dental problems, acid reflux, or GERD, certain food like garlic, onion, meat, coffee. Dehydration, debilitating diseases, herapeutic drugs and mental disorders may also cause halitosis. Over eating as well as starvation also may cause halitosis. So, to get rid of bed breath mouth fresheners is used in most of these cases.
Types of Mouth Fresheners:
Mouth Fresheners gives a feeling of freshness and coolness with fragrant breathe. Some mouth freshers are also used to increase the secretion of saliva and other digestive secretions. These can be classified as:
- Traditional condiments such as cloves, fennel seeds, Cardamom, roasted sesame seeds, coconut shreds, neem, Rose petals etc. Most of these component contain an antibacterial property that kills bacteria, fungi and yeast buildup in the mouth. Mouth freshener with the sugar coated fennel seeds are colorful and attractive. Gulkand which is a sweet preserve of rose petals can treat mouth ulcers. It also helps reducing acidity, gastritis and aids digestion.
- Leafy materials such as Mint leaves, Parsley leaves etc can be chewed after a meal that will help in digestion along with a fresh feeling of breath.
- Supari, betel nut, betel leaves etc can add some flavor to the mouth and make the mouth taste better.
- Chewing gums. Increasing the saliva and repeated chewing may help cleaning the mouth indirectly. Gum helps to increase salivation which in turn stimulate saliva flow that has a remineralizing effect. So it also help strengthening enamel along with getting fresh breath.
- Peppermint, mint preparations or Sugar free mints. Mint can add flavor to the mouth and make the mouth taste better. Sugar free mints containing sorbitol, stevia and other artificial sugar sources are metabolized so that these will not make any harm to the teeth
- Toffees containing menthol, mint flavor etc.
- Mouth sprays which may or may be alcohol based are recommended to use occasionally as it only last for 20 minutes and need reapplication throughout the day. It also dry out the mouth and cause an odor.
Bad Effect of Mouth Fresheners:
As the effect of Mouth fresheners may last for limited period only, people may tend to use Mouth fresheners repeatedly which may lead to habituation that increases the adverse effects on heath condition.
- Most of the additives and preservatives used in mouth fresheners has a potential to cause cancer.
- Sugars as well as artificial sweeteners used are not suitable for diabetic person.
- An undesirable odour may be produced by mixing of the bed breath and fragrance of Mouth freshener which can be unpleasant.
- Prolonged use of chewing gums can weaken the tempero-mandibular joint and can produce loose joint. Prolonged chewing stimulates the brain continuously which may lead to mental confusion, irritation and lethargy causing lack of concentration in usual work and hence reduced working capacity.
- Regular use of pan, betel-nut, betel leaves will lead to multiple ulceration, burning mouth syndrome, mucositis and sub-mucous fibrosis of oral cavity and oropharynx finally leading to oral malignancy.