With the growing popularity of low carbohydrate diets such as the Atkins Diet or the South Beach Diet, diet and bad breath are closely related with it. Bad breath due to dieting is fairly easy to diagnose and just as easy to get rid of. To test for diet and bad breath association, ask someone you know to smell for acetone on your breath. Acetone is an additive to nail polish remover but is also produced in the body when insufficient quantities of carbohydrates are eaten.
Essentially, when you have little to no carbohydrates being eaten, there is no glucose in your blood stream for energy. Your body will go into a phase called ketosis where fatty acids are broken down for energy instead. Ketone bodies are the compounds which are produced as a result of ketosis. The three ketone bodies are acetone, acetoacetic acid, and beta-hydroxybutyric acid.
The good news to halitosis sufferers is that adding a small amount of carbohydrates back into your diet will effectively treat your halitosis problem. This may not be feasible at the beginning of a low carbohydrate diet but generally after about a month, when you are able to reintroduce carbs into your diet, you will be able to combat the unhealthy breath.
Carbohydrate free options to help in the meantime with the halitosis include:
- Chewing on sugar free gum can help with saliva production and removal of remnant debris. Choose a cinnamon flavor as it will cover the smell better and last much longer than mint.
- Have sugarless candy on hand. Purchase the ones which contain Xylitol, a sugar alcohol, which contains properties that kill bacteria and prevent cavities.
- Always have water. Sip on a few ounces every half an hour to continuously flush the bad smell out.
- Try chewing on fresh parsley to temporarily deodorize your mouth
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