You don’t need to be a provider of family dental care in Newberg to know that if you eat a lunch that consists of pickled liverwurst and onions most of your coworkers are going to prefer talking on the phone rather than having any conversations face-to-face. But what are the causes of bad breath that are not directly related to the foul smelling foods we love to eat? Aside from some of the most obvious causes, such as halitosis, dry mouth, and smoking, there are a number of less obvious causes of bad breath.
Fortunately, once you identify the cause of your bad breath, you can start taking action to help alleviate the problem. Unfortunately, the solution to your funky problem may require making lifestyle changes, such as your diet. (You also might want to lighten up on the liverwurst.) Here are a few conditions that may be causing some unexpected cases of dragon breath.
You’re on the Ketogenic Diet
One of the trendiest diets of 2018, all the ketogenic diet asks is that you eat plenty of what many meat lovers already consider favorites – bacon and ham. However, while any diet that lets you eat ham and eggs for breakfast and dinner may seem too good to believe, the keto diet may have the unfortunate side effect of giving you a nasty case of bacon breath.
When you start on the keto diet, you’re basically forcing the body to create molecules known as ketones. A specific type of ketone, referred as acetone, tends to be excreted through our urine and breath. Acetone has a fairly foul smell, and many people often compare it to rotten fruit.
Since you’re cutting out carbs to increase your fat intake, thereby making better use of all the ketones your body is producing, your body must go through a transition as it begins to rely less on glucose for the fuel it needs. Fortunately, the bad breath associated with the keto diet is only temporary. Once your body becomes accustomed to relying on ketones for fuel, your bad breath should subside.
You’re on the Paleo Diet
The Paleo Diet, just at the keto diet, requires that you cut back on the amount of carbs you consume. But while the Paleo diet focuses on protein to help you bulk up, the side effects can be the same as with the keto diet – chronic bad breath.
Compared to most Western diets, Paleo requires eating far more protein than most people typically consume, and high protein consumption has been linked to bad breath in some studies. The reason? Eating plenty of protein can cause the body to create an increased amount of ammonia, which can cause a foul smell to develop in the mouth. This odor is often described as being “fishy” or like “ammonia”. Ewe!
To eliminate the bad breath that the Paleo Diet can cause, you need to substitute other paleo-friendly foods for some of the excess protein you’re eating. In fact, there’s a limit to how much protein your body can even successfully process, and continuing to eat more could potentially place a strain on your digestive organs.
So instead of steak, try upping your intake of items like coconut oil, seeds, nuts, and olive oil.
You Suffer from Acid Reflux
Do you experience frequent bouts of heartburn? Would the number of times you burp a day put Homer Simpson to shame? Do you feel any pain or discomfort in your stomach? If you’ve answered “yes” or “very” to these questions, you may be suffering from acid reflux. Acid reflux is caused when the esophagus becomes inflamed, and certain types of diets and lifestyle habits can make the condition worse. It can also cause bad breath due to the stomach acids that travel up the esophagus and into your mouth.
Not only can acid reflux cause bad breath and heartburn, it can also cause your tooth enamel to erode. If you suspect you suffer from acid reflux, you should see a gastroenterologist to determine the cause of your condition. You can also try to limit the bouts of heartburn you experience by changing your diet. Avoid eating fast food, fried foods, and drinking too much coffee or alcohol.
You Don’t Eat Enough
Cutting back on how frequently you eat can cause mood changes (ever hear of being hangry?). Surprisingly, being hungry can also contribute to the development of bad breath, as not eating for long periods can reduce the amount of saliva your mouth produces. This can lead to dry mouth.
When your mouth becomes dry, bacteria that contributes to causing unpleasant smells has an easier time of multiplying. Being hungry also causes changes in the bacteria and enzymes your mouth produces, which can occasionally cause weird smells to develop. Even if you’re on a diet, make sure to drink plenty of water and to keep a few healthy snacks around just in case.