Halitosis Caused by Diet Choices?

Halitosis, the medical term used for the occurrence of bad breath, is a common yet dreaded event most people experience at least once during their lifetime. There are many causes for a halitosis flare up, ranging from eating potent foods like onions or garlic, improper dental care such as not brushing enough, health conditions such as diabetes and GERD, and even part of the side effects of some medications like chemotherapy. However, many people are shocked to learn that dieting can lead to a bad breath flare up, and in some cases it does not simply go away with a brushing or quick rinse with mouthwash, but instead can last and linger. This is devastating for some people, especially since one of the biggest culprits for bad breath from diets is the popular fad diet, known as the Keto diet!


Dieting Basics and the Body

Changing your diet can be a step in the right direction for healthy lifestyle choices, and increasing physical activity make those weight loss goals more attainable. However, changing your diet doesn’t only mean reducing calorie intake in order to lose weight and eat more healthily. It means you will be modifying the types of foods you eat. The sudden removal of certain foods that the body has become accustomed to and the sudden addition of other foods that the body is not as accustomed to, can lead to certain side effects besides weight loss. Diets high in protein are some of the biggest culprits when it comes to the side effect of persistent and at times severe bad breath, which is bad news for those who follow the Keto Diet.


The Keto Diet and Halitosis

The popular fad diet known as the Keto Diet, is a high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carb diet. This emphasis on protein and avoidance of carbs is done in order to help the body achieve what is known as ketosis. This is a natural metabolic state that occurs when there is not enough caloric intake from the food to sustain the body so the fat reserves of the body are used for fueling the body.  While the ketogenic diet and other low-carb eating habits can help some people lose weight or get more energy throughout the day, it brings some not so pleasant side effects- the main one being potential bad breath.


Dealing With Potential Keto Bad Breath

If you are following the Keto Diet and notice your breath starting to turn, here are some things you can do to reduce the bad breath:

  • Up the water intake to keep the body flushed and hydrated
  • Reduce protein intake and try to gradually increase it again
  • Follow proper dental hygiene with daily brushing and flossing
  • Use an alcohol-free mouthwash to keep breath fresh
  • Be patient as Keto Breath can last a few weeks as the body adjusts
  • Talk with your dentists about other steps you can take