A low carb high protein diet seems to be the most recent dieting craze. I’m sure you have noticed several changes in yourself since you started dieting if you are still on diets such as Atkins, South Beach, etc. And no I’m not talking about the remarkable weight loss I am talking about your bad breath from your low carb diet. It might not even be noticeable to you. But if you opt to ask your relatives and friends if there’s been a deterioration, the response might really surprise you. In fact, you may even find your friends moving away from you when you speak, which is always a sure sign of bad breath.
So what causes of all this bad air? Well, there are several similar reasons for the issue depending on which medical professional you consult with. One reason is directly related to the increase in protein, which most of the low carb diets advocate.
We have a significant amount of beneficial bacteria living on the back of our throat and our tongue. These bacteria are necessary because they aide in human digestion by breaking down protein found in mucous or phlegm, certain foods, blood as well as in oral tissue that is damaged or diseased.
When food particles are left in your mouth it becomes broken down by bacterial which may produce sulfur compounds. The foul-smelling and “bad-tasting” VSCs, also known as volatile sulfur compounds, are released from the posterior portion of the tongue and throat. These compounds include Methyl Mercaptan, Hydrogen Sulphide, and other malodorous and bad tasting compounds.
There is now way to remove the bacteria permanently because they are meant to be in our mouth. Accordingly, tongue scraping and brushing alone cannot get rid of these VSCs . The only means to cure bad breath (halitosis) that is scientifically proven is via inhibiting the bacteria from producing VSCs and converting the VSC into organic salts that have no taste and are no odor.
There are a number of ways in which the problem is worsened and dry mouth is one of the most common ways. This issue usually occurs during your sleep which explains why you occasionally get morning breath.
Although some cases of dry mouth are naturally occurring, most cases are caused by one of these factors:
1. Prescription Medications such as the ones that are frequently prescribed for depression or high blood pressure
3. Adult Beverages
4. Types of mouthwash with alcohol in them
When your mouth is dryer, you have less saliva. It is important to mention that saliva is naturally comprising oxygen, which functions to keep your mouth fresh and healthy. The problematic bacteria are anaerobic, which means in the presence of little to no oxygen they thrive and create more sulfur. If you have a reduction in saliva, you will have less oxygen, which creates an anaerobic environment ideal for the bacteria to produce even more of the sour/bitter, odorous compounds.
When you are on an Atkins diet or something similar, there is an increase in your consumption of high-protein foods such as dairy products. As a result, the proportion of Volatile Sulfur Compounds increases substantially causing your bad breath to worsen. The only way to combat the issue is via exposing the bacteria that is causing the problem to oxygen and eliminate as many of the VSCs as possible. This can be done in several ways:
Drink loads of water. This will help ensure your tongue and throat are kept moist and supplying oxygen to the VSC-producing bacteria.
Ensure that you are using a tongue cleaner to clean your tongue prior to brushing your teeth in the morning and before you go to bed at night. It would be beneficial for you to do this after each meal.
It is important to make sure that your mouthwash doesn’t contain alcohol because this can dry out your mouth and exacerbate your issue. The bad breath from your low carb diet can also be improved dramatically if you opt to use an oxygenating mouthwash. The best way to find one is by performing a Google search for oxygenating mouthwash.
Do not chew gum, which contains sugar, to mask the bad breath. This can make matters worse. Use a sugar-free gum instead.
The most important thing for you to know is you will get bad breath from your low carb diet. Some cases will be substantially worse than others. However, help is at hand so if you want to shed the weight and not shed any friends, then make sure and heed the advice given above.