Have you started a ketogenic diet and suddenly noticed you have bad breath? You’re not alone in your keto breath. The ketogenic (keto) diet is a popular weight loss diet in which users consume foods high in fats, moderate in protein, and low in carbohydrates in order to achieve ketosis.
Ketosis is a natural metabolic state that occurs when a person consumes fewer carbohydrates than the daily recommended amount, causing the body to start burning fat for fuel. With low carb intake and the body burning fat for fuel, weight loss often results.
What Is Keto Breath and How Does It Occur?
Keto breath is a type of bad breath that occurs when the body is in ketosis. The breath is characterized by a distinct taste or odor in the mouth that’s quite different from ordinary bad breath. The breath has also been described as tasting metallic or having a nail polish remover–like odor as well as a fruity smell.
So how does the bad breath occur?
Ketosis occurs when your body breaks down stored fat for fuel. When your body burns the stored fats, a natural chemical known as ketone is produced.
Ketones are usually harmless and exit from the body through the mouth and urine. When ketones are released through the mouth, you experience keto breath. This unpleasant breath is one of the signs that your body has entered into ketosis. This unsavory breath can occur on any low-carb diet, including a paleo diet.
How Long Does the Breath Last?
For most dieters, the distinct breath may only last a few weeks after starting a low-carb diet. Fortunately, the breath is temporary and will significantly subside as your body adjusts to the diet.
What Can You Do to Manage Keto Breath?
While the bad breath only occurs for a short time, it can have a negative impact on your self-confidence. Here are some simple solutions for easily and effectively combating your keto breath.
- Floss and brush your teeth at least 2 times daily.
Poor dental hygiene can worsen your keto diet–induced breath. Although brushing and flossing your teeth on a daily basis may not eliminate your bad breath completely, it can greatly reduce the odor from your mouth.
Consider carrying an extra toothbrush so you can brush right after lunch or after snacking at work or on the go to prevent your breath from becoming worse.
- Chew sugarless gum.
Chewing gum stimulates the production of more saliva in your mouth. Saliva prevents bacteria from sticking in the mouth and also helps break down plaque and eliminate acids in your mouth. Saliva basically rinses your mouth, keeping it clean, fresh, and odor-free.
Consider chewing sugarless gum that contains xylitol, as it helps break down bacteria that causes bad breath.
- Drink plenty of water regularly.
Drinking plenty of water on a daily basis is not just good for your skin and overall health, it can also help combat your bad breath.
When you drink water, the bacteria, plaque, and stuck food particles in your teeth are washed away. While on a keto diet, make a habit of drinking a lot of water, and swish your mouth after eating snacks. This will prevent the odor from building up, keeping your breath fresh all day long.
- Rinse your mouth with fluoridated mouthwash.
A fluoridated mouthwash can be an effective yet temporary means of eliminating bad breath. Rinsing with the mouthwash helps prevent the formation of plaque and bacteria in places the mouthwash can reach and removes food particles from the mouth.
- Eat foods that help mask bad breath.
Several foods can help mask bad breath, and there are some great keto-friendly options! Unsweetened yogurt with live cultures and probiotics inhibit the growth of odor-causing bacteria. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and spinach are all high in vitamin C, which also helps prohibit bacteria growth.
Keto diets are extremely popular right now, but the bad breath that comes with it can be a huge turnoff. Fortunately, you now have some options to help keep the keto breath at bay.
Always consult your doctor before beginning a diet. If bad breath is an ongoing problem for you, it could indicate a more serious condition and you should schedule a visit with your dentist. Dr. Chris A. Mott proudly serves the greater Shreveport & Bossier area. His dental practice has the best in modern dental technology and their highly trained staff is ready to assist you. Dr. Mott is one of the best, most highly rated Bossier dentists. Stop in and see what everyone is talking about. Make your appointment with Dr. Mott today.