Keto Breath: It’s Real

man and woman covering their mouths

If you’ve ever tried the keto diet or even considered it, you’ve probably heard of keto breath, an unwanted side effect of the major lifestyle change that comes with this eating regime. So what is it? Why does it happen? And what other oral health complications may arise if you are following the keto lifestyle?

What Is Keto Breath?

Keto breath is a phenomena experienced by many who follow low-carb, high-fat diets, especially those on the keto diet, hence the name. Some say it smells fruity, while others say it smells more like nail polish remover. It often fades after the first few weeks of following the diet, once your body gets used to being in a ketogenic state.

Why Does Keto Breath Happen?

Ketosis – the goal of a keto diet – is the natural metabolic state your body goes into when it begins burning fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. The smells come from the conversion of fatty acids into ketones. Some of these include hydroxybutyrate, acetoacetate and acetone, which explains the nail polish smell.

What Other Oral Health Implications Can Happen?

There are actually some positives when it comes to oral health and the keto diet! For instance, limiting carbs helps prevent plaque buildup, as carbs often interact with bacteria in the mouth to cause plaque. Sugars trigger this same reaction – since sugar is not allowed on this diet, going keto may help you stay cavity-free if you also follow a good oral hygiene routine.

Are you following a keto diet or thinking about adopting one and aren’t sure what else you need to consider when it comes to your oral health? Feel free to reach out to us so we can help! You can also give us a call to schedule one of your twice-yearly checkups and professional cleaning appointments to make sure your teeth stay healthy. Call us today at 724-220-2347.

Dr. Alexandra S. George

Medically reviewed by Dr. Alexandra S. George - D.D.S., L.Vl.I.F. on December 9th, 2019