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 and this latest low-carb diet is no exception. A common complaint on the keto diet and we’re not necessarily talking from the person on a diet but rather from their friends and family is known as “keto breath.” We’re here to uncover whether it really is as unpleasant as it sounds.
What Other Symptoms are Common on the Keto Diet?
We’re going to be specifically looking into keto breath today but is that they only expected side effect of this popular diet or are there more? 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.
The most common symptoms, especially during the first early days and weeks on this diet can include leg cramps, nausea, fatigue, headaches, and constipation. None of the side effects are dangerous, and all of them are manageable on the most part by ensuring that you stay adequately hydrated while following this restricted low carb diet.
What About That Keto Breath? Why Does That Happen?
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.
Let’s Look in More Detail at the Occurrence of Acetone Breath.
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 citrusy 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.
What Can You Do to Counteract the Effects of Keto 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
- 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 mouth wash to give your breath a minty fresh kick when needed
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.
Is There Anything Else that Can Be Done to Control the Effects of Keto Breath?
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.
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.
The Beauty of Botanicals
If you’ve not yet tried out botanical oils, then you really don’t know what you’re missing, and we recommend that you commit to using them, especially if you intending following the keto diet for any length of time. Your mouth and your family and friends will definitely thank you for it.