One of the reasons why so many people favor the keto diet (short for ketogenic) is that it really does deliver significant and relatively quick results. It’s certainly one of those diets that motivates you to continue, given how dramatic and visible the weight loss results can be.
However, as with all new diet and nutrition programs, it’s certainly not without its side effects, some of which are more dangerous than others. This low-carb diet is no exception. A common complaint on the keto diet is what is called “keto breath” or "ketosis breath." While in itself it is not dangerous, it can indeed complicate an underlying condition that you may already have, even without knowing it. What is that? Gum disease.
In this article, we would like to discuss how to get rid of this low carb breath by dealing with a more serious and fundamental problem - keto dry mouth and any periodontal problems.
Common Symptoms on the Keto Diet?
Is low carb bad breath the only side effect of a keto diet? No. Actually, there are quite a few, and we definitely recommend that you thoroughly do your research first before embarking on this diet just to make sure that it’s totally suitable for you.
- Keto cramps in the legs, stomach, and heart (palpitations).
- Keto bad breath (a bad breath that does not seem to go away).
None of the side effects are dangerous, and most are manageable by ensuring that you stay adequately hydrated. It is always good to get the advice of a qualified health professional as well.
Few are aware, however, that keto breath can complicate a much more serious problem that most Americans have at some level -- periodontal gum disease. If you are over 65, pay even closer attention since you have a 70.1% chance of having periodontal disease.
- According to a report from the Centers for Disease and Control (CDC):
- "47.2% of adults aged 30 years and older have some form of periodontal disease."
- "Periodontal disease increases with age, 70.1% of adults 65 years and older have periodontal disease." Source
When people start a keto diet plan, then may quickly develop what is called dry mouth. Dry mouth creates an environment in which naturally occurring bacteria thrive and produce an awful ketone smell. So if the person already has inflammation of the gums and teeth in relation to bacteria (periodontal disease), then they should be aware of the risk and take precautions (Of course, we are not saying the worse case scenario will happen to everyone.?
So a diet that could lead to a condition that fosters even more bacteria growth in a already burdened mouth, cannot be a good thing. Gum and tooth infection may accelerate as does the keto breath.
So that's the big picture. Now let's get back on track and talk about ketosis breath (the symptom of this all).
What is Keto Breath?
The term itself is used to describe the fairly pronounced and often intense bad breath that can occur in certain individuals when they are following this diet. It’s a diet that’s based around consuming foods that are high in fat and low in carbs and in so doing, your body enters a phase which is known as ketosis. This basically means that your body has a much higher than usual presence of ketones which encourage our body to start burning its own fat rather than glycogen reserves.
One of the characteristic signs that you are producing ketones and that your body has indeed gone into this required state is the excretion of acetone which has a very distinctive smell both on your breath and when you pass urine. You can’t just smell it, you can also physically taste it too, so your body is giving out two very major signals that ketosis is happening. From a smell perspective it’s a slightly of fruity smell whereas taste wise, it leaves nasty metallic sensation that can also lead to a dry mouth too.
Acetone Breath - What you need to know.
While acetone in itself is an indication that your body is going through that fat burning stage that you were hoping for, it can be unpleasant and can also lead to other unwanted and troublesome side effects, especially if you are not entirely on top of your oral hygiene. Drying out of the mouth can in itself be a problem as it may lead to the buildup of harmful bacteria which if left unchecked, could result in dental issues further down the line including gum disease.
It goes without saying that good oral hygiene is a must but really, when you are on the keto diet, that doubly applies as besides that bothersome bad breath you and your significant others will have to contend with, left untreated, the buildup of bacteria could be an issue long after you’ve lost all that weight.
When we said earlier that your breath will smell like fruit, we didn’t mean fresh and zingy citrus fruits, we meant overripe fruit that is well past its prime and about to turn into a festering mush! Yes, sorry to be the bearer of bad news but keto breath really can be that bad.
How to Get Rid of Keto Bad Breath?
There are plenty of simple solutions out there that will at least temporarily mask the issue, but they’re incomplete solutions and don’t deal with the root cause. Just some of the tricks you could try out include the following which are basic good sense and hygiene at the end of the day:
- Drink more water as this will keep you hydrated and help dissipate that metallic feeling in your mouth.
- Trying munching on some fresh parsley or mint whenever you feel your breath is particularly pungent. Mint in oil form has been proven to kill bacteria. More about that below.
- Keep up with a good dental hygiene routine and consider upping your brushing regime to after every meal rather than the recommended minimum twice a day.
- Use a natural mouthwash to give your breath a minty fresh kick when needed (add botanical oils to water).
Some of the above potential “treatments” can inadvertently make keto breath even worse so it really is vital that you take extra good care of your teeth and gums when you are on this type of diet to ensure that you keep any potentially harmful bacteria at bay and don’t encourage it to flourish.
Keto Dry Mouth - The problem and solution
What is more important than the state of your breath, is the health of your mouth so the focus should actually be on avoiding a dry mouth rather than on treating that bad breath.
Dry mouth can create in environment in your mouth where destructive bacteria grow out of control and start a destructive process in your teeth and gums, and even into your bloodstream and body.
Remember: The mouth is the gateway to the body. It has been said also that it is the gateway to disease. So it is crucial to not avoid what can develop into a serious problem.
Botanical oils are a popular alternative remedy and can be very effective at killing bacteria as long as they’re not rinsed out and remain in the mouth long enough to be effective. They can significantly help moisten the mouth, increasing the natural production of saliva to cleanse your mouth routinely as well as also killing off bacteria and leaving a fresh taste and smell in your mouth.
What are the Best Keto-friendly Breath Mints?
Sugar-free gum or mints are not necessarily the best options, since they only mask the bad breath. The best way to utilize mint and deal with dry mouth and keto breath at the same time is to use a highly potent mixture of mint and spearmint oils. So the best keto breath mints are actually an oil. An oil? Yes, an oil. Here is why this is the best solution.
With the mint oil you kill 2 birds with one stone by dealing with the more dangerous problem (gum disease and dry mouth) while dealing with the more embarrassing one (stinky breath) at the same time. If you only take mints and gum, then you are not dealing with the main problem.
So if you are on the keto diet, then this is the best way to protect yourself, and others! Your mouth and your family and friends will definitely thank you for it.
Click here to discover a powerful botanical formula that is proven to kill bacteria, which is at the root of the problem of low carb breath and keto dry mouth. It replaces your toothpaste, mouthwash, and breath mints. This stuff really work!