What Is Keto Breath & Can Mouthwash Get Rid of It?
Did you know there’s a connection between certain diets and bad breath? And no, we’re not just referring to the kind of odorous breath you can get from eating lots of onions and garlic!
Low-carb, high-protein, or high-fat diets — like keto, paleo, South Beach, or Atkins — can actually cause bad breath. This foul-smelling problem is so common, in fact, that it’s referred to as keto breath in many health and fitness communities. Diets that put the body in ketosis, while often effective for losing weight, may leave your mouth with a less-than-pleasant taste and odor.
Why Do Ketogenic Diets Cause Bad Breath?
There are two main reasons why low-carb, high-protein diets cause bad breath: sulfur gases and ketosis.
Volatile Sulfur Compounds (Sulfur Gases):
There are billions of bacteria living in your mouth at any given moment. These bacteria consume protein from the foods you eat and produce sulfur gas — or bad breath — as a waste product. By eating high-protein foods and fewer carbs, you introduce more protein for the bacteria to eat, thereby boosting the production of sulfur gas. Enter: keto breath.
The basis of ketogenic diets is to minimize the consumption of carbohydrates by replacing them with healthy fats and proteins. This method is commonly used to achieve timely weight loss. Typically, the body uses glucose from carbohydrates as a source of energy. However, on very low-carb diets, the body is instead forced to burn fat for energy. This burning of fat is known as ketosis and produces ketones that are expelled from the body through urine or exhalation. In excessive amounts, these ketones can produce foul-smelling breath.
How Do I Stop Keto Breath?
Luckily, there are multiple measures you can take to help prevent keto breath while on low-carb, high-fat, and high-protein diets.
Although it sounds simple, sipping on water throughout the day is a somewhat useful way to prevent bad breath. Keeping your mouth moisturized will help wash out excess food particles that bacteria would otherwise use to create sulfur gas, plus staying hydrated can help flush out odor-causing ketones.
Practice Proper Oral Care
Similar to drinking water, regularly brushing and flossing your teeth removes excess food particles from your mouth and helps prevent bad breath caused by sulfur gas production. Alcohol-free mouthwashes can also be beneficial. If alcohol is present in the mouthwash, it can dry out the mouth and contribute to bad breath. For that reason and others, SmartMouth Oral Rinse is an excellent tool for preventing bad breath caused by keto diets; SmartMouth does not contain alcohol and is specially formulated to block the bacteria’s protein receptors, depriving them of the protein they need to produce odor-causing sulfur gas.
While keto breath is an unfortunate side effect of certain diets, it commonly only lasts for a few weeks. In the meantime, regularly sipping on water and practicing good oral care can help manage bad breath.
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