Low-Carb Diets and Bad Breath

The Atkins Diet, South Beach and other low-carb diets have become increasingly popular as effective ways of shedding those unwanted pounds. However, one must take care not to simultaneously shed your friends. By limiting your intake of bread, cereal, pasta, fruits, rice, ice cream, cakes and other foods, the body will burn stored fat as fuel for energy rather than carbohydrates. Strict adherence to these types of diets will send your body into "ketosis." Chemicals known as ketones are released when the fat is burned and are excreted from the body through the urine and the saliva. This will result in halitosis or bad breath.

It is not the same type of odor that comes from poor oral hygiene, allowing bacteria to breakdown proteins into sulfur gas, so additional brushing, flossing and scraping the tongue will not alleviate the problem. If the "ketone breath" becomes a problem, one must modify the diet or try to mask the symptoms until the desired weight loss is achieved. Some suggestions are to drink plenty of water, chew on parsley, suck on sugarless mints and/or chew on sugarless gum.
 

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