There are various types of diets intended to help you loose weight and many are very effective, but some diets can cause bad breath. They typically involve a highly unbalanced intake of food consisting of an increased or decreased level of macronutrient groups such as Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fats or Fiber. These diets also carry a risk of other more serious unwanted side effects, often dependent on your current health, so it is essential to consult a nutritionist or your doctor before going ahead with one of them.
Low carb diets can cause bad breath – sometimes referred to as “Keto-breath” – due to certain chemicals called ketones being released in the breath when the body burns fat. Atkins diet and South Beach Diet are very popular low carb diets which include mainly protein and little, if no carbohydrates during the preliminary stage of the dietary regime. Other diets which are high in protein can have carbohydrates levels significantly lower than the required daily amount. Typically they require avoiding fruits, vegetables and cereals and instead contain more meats, milk, eggs, cheese and seafood.
These types of diets reduce the amount of carbohydrates in the body and as a result fat is burnt by the body to create energy. This process is known as ketosis and also results in increased water usage by the body. When more water in the body is used up, amount of saliva in the mouth is reduced, leading to dehydration which is undoubtedly yet another unpleasant side effect. A dry mouth is also conducive to the growth of bacteria, which is the most common cause of halitosis. Moreover, ketones released during ketosis disturb the pH balance of the body, further contributing to bad breath.
Low-carb diets contain higher levels of protein. Ammonia is produced when the body burns protein again contributing to bad breath.
Another interesting fact is that even when your protein consumption is low, you can also be affected by “keto-breath”. This can be the result of the body breaking down its own muscle protein and burning it up.
Tips to Manage Diet Induced Bad Breath
- “Keto-breath” can be controlled by drinking plenty of water. This will help keep mouth hydrated.
- Sugarless chewing gums and sugarless mints may also help; especially ones that contain Xylitol which kills bacteria can help. Xylitol can also help to prevent cavities.
- Include fresh fruits, whole grains and a wide range of vegetables in your diet if possible.
- Another option to fight bad breath is by brushing the tongue to reduce the bacteria located there. Brushing the back of the tongue may help greatly as it is where high amounts bacteria can accumulate.
Other diets such as Raw Food Diet and the Dukan Diet can also create mouth odor. The Raw Food Diet is believed by some nutritionists to contribute by to bad breath as a result of such a major dietary change, whilst others attribute it to the intake of wheatgrass. Dukan Diet is also known for causing bad breath, although the designer of the diet, Dr Pierre Duken, states that bad breath is a good sign as it is an indication that the dieter is loosing weight. He also suggests drinking more water to ease the symptoms.
Whatever diet scheme you follow, if you know how bad breath is caused and how it can be controlled, you can continue your diet whilst minimize any signs of bad breath.
Mark Short is an online author specializing in oral & dental health. He publishes articles on behalf of Dentalcare Plus who provide advanced dentistry through dedicated dental implant clinics in England, including their 5th clinic which opened in September 2012 to provide dental implants in Manchester and the north ofEngland at competitive prices.