Fortunately, you don’t have to jump ship and abandon your diet this new year. Just follow these 5 easy tricks to stop keto diet bad breath.
Why the Keto Diet Is a Recipe for Bad Breath
The keto diet can work against the breath two-fold.
First, when you’re in ketosis, “keto breath” is pretty much guaranteed. In fact, this is how some people know they’ve entered into ketosis in the first place.
Here’s what happens: by limiting the consumption of carbs, the body begins to burn fat for energy instead of carbs. This process creates byproducts in the liver called ketones. When the ketones reach a certain level, that’s ketosis.
Ketones will seep into the urine and breath, giving off a distinct odor. Many people liken the smell to rotten fruit or ammonia while others report a metallic taste in their mouths.
Second, the foods eaten on the keto diet can contribute to bad breath. Bad breath is most often caused by volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs), aka “bad breath molecules.” When protein is broken down, debris likes to hang out on the way back of the tongue. This produces VSCs, giving us that “rotten egg smell” bad breath.
Halitosis studies indicate that 90 percent of all bad breath originates from the tongue. Combine this with ketones in the breath, and we’re faced with a double whammy of bad breath when on the keto diet.
Will Keto Breath Go Away on Its Own?
Yes, fortunately keto bad breath is a temporary phenomenon. As the body adjusts to your new diet, the acetone-like breath will subside, usually around 2 weeks.
However, you could still have “regular” bad breath from poor oral hygiene and an unclean tongue at any time. So whether you’re in the adjustment phase or not, it’s wise to follow these tricks so you can always feel confident in the smell of your breath.
5 Tricks to Get Rid of Keto Diet Bad Breath
#1. Drink Plenty of Water
Rather than breathing out those stinky ketones, flush them out instead! Drinking enough water is super important on the keto diet, not just to help with “keto breath” but to avoid dehydration and digestion issues.
A general guideline is to drink enough water so that your urine is light yellow. (Note: if you take vitamin B supplements, this will turn the urine bright yellow regardless.)
Tip: add a pinch of salt to your water to help with electrolyte balance while you’re on the keto diet.
#2: Make Small Dietary Adjustments
The keto diet normally has the following macronutrient ratios:
- Calories from fat: 60–75%
- Calories from protein: 15–30%
- Calories from carbs: 5–10%
If you’re fed up with keto breath, being slightly less in ketosis may be a good solution for you. A small adjustment to your carb intake can make an immediate difference in your breath.
Need help planning and tracking your keto diet? Check out the Keto Diet Buddy.
#3: Up Your Oral Hygiene
If you want to lessen the effects of bad breath on the keto diet, pay special attention to your overall oral hygiene. In addition to daily brushing, you’ll want to floss twice a day – especially those back molars where food likes to hide out and cause a stink.
And, of course, don’t forget the tongue! You can use an inverted spoon to scrape the tongue, but the most effective way to do it is with a special dental tool called a tongue scraper. They’re super affordable (less than the price of a fancy coffee) and last as long as a toothbrush! Read more about this best-kept secret for fresh breath.
#4: Keep Your Mouth Moist
Dry mouth is one of the main causes of bad breath. A dry environment makes bacteria quickly grow and multiply. Bacteria in the mouth is filled with those pesky bad breath molecules, called VSCs. You can keep your mouth moist in a number of ways, from drinking more water (especially important at meals) to running a humidifier at night to sucking on sugar-free mints.
#5. Switch to an Alcohol-Free Mouthwash
Alcohol-based mouthwashes may feel like they’re working initially, courtesy of the sting and burn. But shortly after swishing, the alcohol starts to dry out the mouth. Dry mouth = bad breath.
Making the switch to an alcohol-free mouthwash will do wonders for your breath. We recommend Oxyfresh Fresh Breath Lemon Mint Mouthwash because it has soothing aloe to prevent dry mouth, hydrating essential oils and a patented DOUBLE DOSE of Oxygene® and zinc for all-day fresh breath. Nothing can stop keto bad breath like this mouthwash!
Psst … savvy shoppers can get this amazing mouthwash, a tongue scraper AND a refreshing gel toothpaste in 1 money-saving kit called the Ultimate Fresh Breath Kit.
The Final Word on Keto Bad Breath
Take heart – while keto breath definitely isn’t fun, it IS a sign that you’re doing the diet correctly. So ketos, er kudos, to you! While you wait out “keto breath,” follow these tricks and you’re sure to notice a big difference in the freshness of your breath.
P.S. Don’t get bit by the keto flu bug!
The transition into a low-carb diet can be hard on the body. Protect yourself from the keto flu with Vitality. This ultimate vitamin supplement will boost your immune system, improve your mood, and help you get better Zzzs.
What makes Vitality radically different? While most supplements just go on a joyride through the body, Vitally is a max absorption blend, which means the nutrients get deep into your cells for results you can see and feel! It’s a game changer whether you’re on the keto diet or just want to feel your best all day, every day.