How Do You Stop Bad Breath on a Low-Carb Diet?

Medically Reviewed on 5/20/2022
How do you stop bad breath on a low carb diet?
Keto breath typically has a fruity odor or an aroma reminiscent to nail polish remover.

Bad breath caused by a low-carb diet is called keto breath or ketosis breath. When you are on a low-carb diet, your body goes into ketosis and burns fats as an energy source.

These ketone bodies are eliminated from your body through urine and exhalation, which gives a characteristic foul breath.

Ammonia is produced in the body as a result of protein breakdown. Decreased carbs and increased protein intake can cause ammonia in the body. Ammonia is eliminated through urine and gases, which may cause foul breath.

What does keto breath smell like?

Keto breath typically has a fruity odor or an aroma reminiscent to nail polish remover. Many people describe the flavor of keto breath as metallic. Having keto breath is an indication that your keto diet is working and that your body is using fat for fuel instead of glucose (sugar) from carbs.

  • Some people use a ketone breath meter (or keto breath tester) to evaluate their ketone levels and ensure their foul breath is caused by their diet.
  • While keto breath may be a positive indicator for you, you probably do not want the rest of the world to smell it.

The duration of keto breath is temporary. It normally emerges after a few days to a week of starting the keto diet and lasts for many weeks to a few months. However, it will return if you go on and off the diet.

6 remedies to stop bad breath while on a low-carb diet

  1. Reduce protein intake
    • Ammonia is expelled when you breathe and urinate and causes foul breath. Try to limit your protein consumption to 30 to 35 percent of your daily calories.
  2. Increase fat intake
    • Eating extra fat can help reduce ketone stinkers, such as ammonia and acetone. According to a 2014 study, increasing dietary fat intake while decreasing protein intake resulted in lower levels of ammonia and acetone.
  3. Drink plenty of water
    • Staying hydrated with water should be at the top of any list of how to get rid of keto breath. Drinking enough water dilutes the concentration of stinky ketones you are exhaling, aiding in the prevention of keto breath.
    • Aside from that, water is generally beneficial to oral health.
      • Water is free of sugar or carbs that bacteria in the mouth may feed on
      • It washes away odor-and cavity-causing food debris and plaque
      • It promotes saliva flow, which remineralizes the teeth
      • It prevents dry mouth, which is another common cause of bad breath
  4. Maintain oral hygiene
    • Brushing and flossing will not eradicate keto breath, but they will manage the other causes of bad breath and keep it from growing worse. Always rinse your mouth with water after every meal and brush your teeth two times a day. Floss your teeth at least one time a day. You could include fluoride mouthwash in the mix.
    • Decay, plaque buildup, food particles, and tooth and gum diseases can cause foul breath. Keeping teeth and gums healthy can help promote fresh breath.
  5. Chewing gums or breath mints
    • Sugarless gum and mints will not eradicate keto breath, but they will help hide it. Chewing gum or sucking on mints after meals offers other oral health benefits, such as increased saliva production, which helps to clean food, germs, and plaque off teeth.
    • This helps restore the mouth's pH equilibrium, lowering the risk of tooth decay. If you want to boost the advantages, use sugarless keto breath mints or chewing gums containing xylitol. This can eliminate odor-producing and cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth.
  6. Consider oil pulling
    • Employ oil pulling with coconut oil in addition to brushing, flossing, and scraping your tongue with a scraper. Oil pulling involves swirling oil in your mouth, which helps remove bacteria, leading to good oral hygiene and bright teeth. Oil pulling is usually done for five minutes two or three times each day. Start oil pulling after consulting your healthcare provider.

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Medically Reviewed on 5/20/2022
Image Source: iStock Image

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Rose A. Keto Breath: The Unfortunate Side Effect of a Low-Carb Diet.

Alkedeh O, Priefer R. The Ketogenic Diet: Breath Acetone Sensing Technology. Biosensors (Basel). 2021;11(1):26.