Bad breath is not going away

(Laura) #1

I’m about 12 or 13 weeks in, I stopped counting. I’m afraid I have bad breath and I’m not even sure whether it is keto breath. But I never used to have it before.

I have just met someone and I’m starting to date him, so I have extra reason for wanting to make this bad breath go away!

I like how I feel on more protein so I have increased my protein… Could that be a cause? I really didn’t mind more fat, it made variety a little harder but I could do more fats and less protein if that would solve it.

I try frequent toothbrushing and mints sometimes and plenty of mouthwash and flossing— but none of that seems to help enough. I seem to have dry mouth and maybe that is part of the issue? I never had that before, either. I have never had an issue with my breath before Keto.

The cursory online search I did seems to show that keto-related bad breath should’ve gone away well before now.

I ordered some chlorophyll and some peppermint oil but they haven’t gotten here yet, darn it. My workdays are packed and not a lot of time to go hunting around town for shops that might carry them.

I do find that cheese makes it worse. I’m fine with stopping cheese. perhaps I also should stop eating with heavy cream (I just buy the heavy cream and whip it myself)

Really, I would be fine with going all meat, butter, olive oil, a tiny bit of vegetables and a very occasional handful of berries… Would that help?

Any tips? Should adjust my diet?


I don’t have any answers for you, unfortunately, but I have the same problem. Been keto on and off for several years now, but my wife can immediately smell when I’m in ketosis, and she’s definitely not a fan. I don’t think it’s just my breath, either; she says my whole skin smells like somebody who’s sick in hospital.

Cheese for sure makes the breath worse (even my son notices that) but I don’t know if it changes the overall body odor.

Anyway, I hope somebody has some good ideas.

(Butter Withaspoon) #3

Could it be a dental problem? I have a couple of places where food will lodge and then sometimes the harmful bacteria (with bad taste/smell) flourish even before decay happens. A clean keto diet helps such that it’s rarely a problem, but it I eat a treat when out I notice a difference next day even. Nuts and 85% dark chocolate can do this too me although I haven’t noticed with cheese. Some cheeses are more carby tho.

A visit to a dentist could clear up questions for you at this very important time! Or you could try a pharmacy, buy those tiny interdental brushes. Good luck!

(Old Baconian) #4

If you are excreting acetone in your breath, that tends to have a “fruity” smell. I don’t particularly mind it, but some people do.

I find that my breath is generally better on keto, that it is carbohydrate that causes a problem. I do, however, get a certain feel to my mouth when I am in ketosis. Drinking coffee or herbal tea dissipates that feeling.

As for body odour, everyone reacts slightly differently to the foods they eat. There is a particular condition some people have that gives them a strong fishy smell, and there is very little they can do about it. Americans have been trained to be very sensitive to body odour by advertisers with a product to sell (though at no point before the invention of deodorant has the human race ever become too smelly to reproduce). But it’s a tough choice, between love and ketosis, that’s for sure.


things should settle down later to be your normal regular ol’ smell but you ‘breath out’ the toxins and ketones so it isn’t your mouth or anything, it is your body adapting to a ketogenic eating plan.

time. time will show you differences, but other than that, it is kinda what it is and…

hope you do ok thru it all :slight_smile:

(Marianne) #6

I would just tell him that you are following keto and that that is the cause of your bad breath for the time being. Let him know that you expect that it will go away and is just temporary (the truth).

Yes! Me, too, but it doesn’t last. I think it’s some reaction between what’s in the cheese and my mouth flora.

If you are going to limit yourself to these foods, I would do that because it is your eating preference and not because you are trying to resolve the breath issue. I’m carnivore now (zero carb - just meat, cheese, eggs, heavy cream), but I didn’t start that until two years in, and I switched because I just prefer eating this way.

Hope your issue goes away soon. I think it will.

(Marianne) #7

@Lc14503, At least you don’t have that! :face_vomiting: It always could be worse! :laughing::hugs:


My breath and sweat smell strong in a seriously bad way on keto.

I haven’t found a solution.

I think it’s a small price to pay for the BG control.

I avoid speaking too close to people and use antiperspirant deodorant.


I don’t see how protein would do it, if you overdo protein (not easy to do) your sweat / b.o. could smell like ammonia, but I’ve never heard of breath being affected. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water, do you track your intake? If not start. Cronometer lets you add notes into your diary wherever you want, you could literally start ranking your bad breath (as you perceive it) and start hopefully finding correlations. I’d also get dry mouth mouthwash. A dry mouth comes with all types of issues… sure you’re hydrated good? High activity level?


Sounds familiar. I had halitosis a decade ago when I was consuming mainly chicken thighs, beans and olive oil. I don’t consume land animals anymore because my body doesn’t tolerate the bacteria from meat. I stick to fatty fish.

Halitosis is a crippling social problem with a common complaint of up to one-third of the general population.[1] Halitosis is a lyrical term derived from the Latin word “halitus” (breath) and the Greek suffix “osis” (condition, action or pathological process). In simple words, it means “Bad Breath”. It is also called as fetor ex ore or fetor oris.[2]

In most of the cases (90%), halitosis originates within the oral cavity. This is because the oral cavity harbours a large variety of microorganisms which include a large group of Gram-positive bacteria mainly Streptococci and a group of anerobic microorganisms such as Porphyromonas gingivalis , Fusibacterium nucleatum and Prevotella intermedius . Among the latter, many are Gram-negative oral bacteria whose proteolytic activity is associated with oral malodour and periodontal disease.[3] Other bacteria associated with gingivitis and/or periodontitis (viz- Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans , Campylobacter rectus , Peptostreptococcus micros , Bacteroids forsythus , Eubacterium species and Spirochetes ) are known to produce large amounts of volatile sulfur compounds (VSC) which are malodorous.[4]

The plaque pH and the acid-base metabolism of oral bacteria also play a central role in malodor formation. Alkaline conditions are favorable to the production of the putrefactive end products that are malodorous and harmful to the oral soft tissues. Some salivary chemical compounds also cause halitosis. These compounds are putrescine, cadaverine, histamine, indole and skatole.[5]


I do know people can easily smell like things they eat.

One older guy at work had a heart attack and heart condition and he put himself on garlic tablets…and omg he reeked. You could not get without a few feet of him and smell the garlic so strong and mixed with body odor etc…yikes

I mean isn’t there ‘no smell garlic’ stuff out there? Apparently this guy didn’t buy that supp LOL

But with ketogenic changeover, your body will ‘breath out’ smells til ya change over and balance back out, nothing you can do about it, but I love what Gingersmommy said…tell the guy the truth, you are eating keto and changing over and your breath might take a hit :slight_smile: Hey people are very understanding quick if they hear it and learn it from you and that it will go away down the line :slight_smile:

Plus super cool you got a new beau, hope things work out well for you!! Fun times!!

(Laura) #12

I have a dry mouth mouthwash that I’ve only used twice, so I’ll try that more. I’ll track the water better. It does seem that I get dry mouth now. I’ve increased exercise a bit-- a half-hour of running most mornings, where I used to be pretty much sedentary.

I brushed my teeth more often yesterday and ate less protein and no cheese, and it seems to be significantly better! I had too many nuts, though.

(Laura) #13

So, I got these supplements yesterday that are supposed to be for breath and body odor. They have chlorophyll, mint, and some probiotics. I took two pills, and my breath did not smell bad yesterday! My teeth also felt cleaner. I also got some food-grade peppermint oil and drank some of that a couple times, mixed in water.

But I also cut back on protein, and had more butter and fatty beef. I have this drink called “Mend Cosmetic” that I was using after my foot surgery. I like that it makes my hair and nails strong, so I’ve been drinking it again. It has whey protein-- 18 grams per serving. Then I was also eating more eggs and ham, and the ham is pretty lean. I wonder whether the protein was the issue. Or maybe cheese and heavy cream and olives were the issue. Or whether that chlorophyll and mint is the cure. I should eliminate these potential causes. I do feel very good though when I eat a lot of beef and just use other foods to supplement. I find I crave very little else when my main food is beef. I can’t remember whether my breath was a problem during the week or two that I was doing that, so I’ll try that again here.

(Laurie) #14

I’ve had bad breath for many years and tried everything, to no avail. I’m so glad you found something that worked for you.