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How to Get Rid of Keto Breath? 4 Ways to Freshen Up!
Keto Diet

How to Get Rid of Keto Breath? 4 Ways to Freshen Up!

HR_author_photo_Thalia
Written by Thalia Oosthuizen | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on July 11, 2022
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3 min

This common side effect of a keto diet might make you feel uncomfortable. Luckily, there are a few ways to deal with it.

how to get rid of keto breath

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If you’ve noticed that your breath is a little funkier than usual after starting keto, never fear. You’re not alone. This is a totally normal phenomenon called keto breath many keto dieters go through during the beginning stages of their new low-carb diet.

Our doctors explain the science behind this particular phenomenon and several effective ways to get rid of keto breath.

How to Get Rid of Keto Breath? 4 Safe Ways

If you have keto breath, don’t worry. There’s no reason to struggle. We’ve explored the four best, safest, and most effective ways to eliminate keto breath.

#1 Drink more water

Have you ever noticed that when your mouth is dry, you tend to notice your bad breath more? Well, the same works for keto breath. If you’re struggling with keto bad breath, then you’re definitely going to want to drink more water. Putting lemon in it can help dispel the smell as well.

#2 Start to calculate your macros

Calculating your macronutrients will help you get into ketosis faster and stay in ketosis longer. Those two things can help your body adjust to ketosis breath. A keto app might help you in that area.

We suggest the Keto Cycle app, which allows you to track your macros, water intake, and even plan your meals with thousands of different keto-friendly recipes.

#3 Brush your teeth (and floss!)

In order to beat keto breath, you might want to consider brushing your teeth more than twice a day. Oral hygiene is one of the quickest ways to help with bad breath and dry mouth. If you can swing it, try brushing your teeth after every meal.

#4 Try gum or sugar-free mints

To eliminate stinky breath, you might want to turn to chew gums or sugar-free mints. The artificial sweetener in gum and mints often has a chemical called xylitol that helps break down bad breath while also covering up the smell.

What Is Keto Breath?

Keto breath is a side effect of achieving ketosis through a ketogenic diet. While you may find yourself having a bad breath in the mornings, this is an entirely different experience. Keto breath often doesn’t go away after brushing your teeth and can sometimes last all day.

When your body breaks down fat stores for energy, it burns and converts that fat into ketones. After those ketones get used up for energy, they need a place to go. Most often, our bodies expel excess ketones through our sweat and breath.

Because these ketones have a distinct, smelly aroma, it becomes known as keto breath.

What does keto breath smell like?

Many people who experience keto breath usually describe it as smelling like nail polish remover. This is because the ketone that you release most often through your breath, with the strongest smell, is going to be acetone.

Others have reported that their keto breath has a metallic taste. Some people have said that their breath has a fruity smell or otherwise sweet smell.

What Can Cause a Keto Breath?

When you switch from a high-carb diet to a low-carb diet, your body is going to take some time to adjust to the new source of energy.

As you burn through fat, it converts them to fatty acids and uses them to make more ketones; you’re definitely going to notice a distinct change in the smell of your breath.

The ketones that you produce while on a keto diet and expel from your body while in the fat-burning mode of ketosis are called beta-hydroxybutyrate, acetoacetate, and acetone. Breath acetone has a strong odor that you smell during the first few weeks.

Some people may also find that too much protein can actually make their breath much worse while in the beginning stages of keto. So, make sure to check your macros and eat less protein.

How Long Does Keto Breath Last?

Keto breath is a short-lived phenomenon. Don’t worry; you won’t be dealing with bad breath for the duration of your keto diet. This new bad breath usually shows up after about a week or two on a new keto diet and can stay during the duration of the adjustment period.

It usually takes your body a week or two to adjust to the change in diet, especially with lower carb intake. As your body adjusts, you’ll notice that your breath starts to go back to normal.

A Word From Nutritionist

Keto followers know that a sudden drop in carbohydrate intake and a rise in fat intake can cause the body to go through all sorts of different changes. Some people experience keto flu, while others struggle with keto sweats. And, of course – keto breath.

If you’re into keto to lose weight, struggling with a change in your breath is probably the last thing you want to deal with.

Natural breath fresheners like mint and lemon water could be extremely helpful while your body produces ketones that expel through your breath. You may want to chew gum or brush your teeth after every meal while your body adjusts.

A keto diet has a whole host of health benefits, but people don’t often talk about the side effects of putting your body through such an intense change!

But don’t let learning about these side effects put you off a ketogenic diet. There are plenty of ways to deal with them, and they don’t last forever!

If you already had poor oral hygiene to start, your keto breath might be worse. Make sure you’re brushing your teeth and taking care of your mouth. You might even want to invest in a tongue scraper if your keto breath is particularly hard to tame.

You’ll be on your way to better breath in no time!

Conclusion

Combined high fat and fewer carbs is the key to a ketogenic diet. However, this drastic change in the way our body produces and uses energy can mean that we have other drastic changes – namely, in our breath!

If you’re worried that you have to trade weight loss with permanent bad breath, don’t worry. Keto breath isn’t permanent, and it also isn’t particularly long-lasting. You’ll usually experience it after the first week or so and then again for another week or two while your body gets used to the new way of eating.

Thankfully, these tips and tricks and a sure-fire way to help you keep your breath smelling as good as possible. Drinking plenty of water, good oral hygiene, and tracking your macros are the top ways to take care of keto breath.

HR_author_photo_Thalia
Written by
Thalia has always wanted to be a writer, starting her first local newspaper at the age of 11. She also has enjoyed a passion for health and fitness since a young age, playing many sports through her schooling career, and still enjoys biking, running, and swimming today. She studied English Language at University for 3 years, developing a passion for spelling, grammar, and research. She now has over 10 years of experience writing, proofreading, and editing, and has paired this with her love for health and fitness by writing health content.
Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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