Keto Breath: What Is It and How Is It Treated?

The ketogenic diet, popularly known as the keto diet, has taken the fitness world by storm, with celebrities like Kourtney Kardashian and Halle Berry swearing by it. While this low-carb, high-fat diet offers several health benefits, like effective weight loss and improved cardiac function, it also has an unwanted side effect: keto breath.

Here, we discuss this unpleasant condition, including its cause, symptoms, and remedies.

What Is Keto Breath?

When you go on a strict low-carb diet like keto, you may notice that your breath starts smelling like rotten fruit or even nail polish. This is in response to how your body reacts to a low-carb diet.

Your body’s main source of energy is glucose, which is primarily derived from carbohydrates. When you eat a zero or low-carb meal, your body is unable to find this fuel and instead converts fat cells into three types of ketones. One of these, acetone, is useless for your body and is released through urine, sweat, and breath. It is what gives your breath that typical ‘ketosis’ smell, which is similar to an overly sweet or ripened piece of fruit. It is often strong enough to detect on yourself just by breathing on your palms.

How to Get Rid of Keto Breath

Here are some simple and effective ways to reduce keto breath, while still sticking to your low-carb diet.

1. Drink More Water

Dry mouth is one of the leading causes of bad breath because saliva plays an important role in keeping your mouth clean and germ-free. When you increase your water intake, your body expels more ketones in urine than breath. Drinking water also helps flush out bad bacteria in your mouth that may cause cavities and gum disease.

2. Chew Sugar-Free Gum and Mints

Sucking mints or chewing mint gum not only masks keto breath but also increases saliva, which checks the growth of bad bacteria in your mouth.

3. Consider Oil Pulling

Aside from brushing, flossing, and cleaning your tongue with a scraper, consider oil-pulling with coconut oil. Oil pulling involves swishing the oil in and around your mouth for up to 5 minutes twice or thrice a day to remove bacteria and lighten your breath.

4. Increase Your Carb Intake Slightly

The more ketones your body produces, the more acetone is released through breath. Instead of cutting out carbs totally, consider reducing them gradually. If you’re on a strict zero-carb diet, slightly boost your carb intake to reduce the release of ketones from your body. By doing so, you’ll not only control your bad breath but also give your body more time to adapt to the keto diet.

Keto breath is a common and embarrassing side effect of the keto diet. Fortunately, it doesn’t last long and should go away as your body burns more ketones for energy as there are fewer of them to release in the breath. If you’re not following a low-carb diet and still experience pungent breath, they will analyze your oral health and create a suitable treatment plan.

This entry was posted in Dentistry on Dusk on May 25, 2021.

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