Keto Side Effects: How to deal with ketosis breath

It is really quite embarrassing when you have bad breath. Most especially when you can’t explain to people that the foul smell is only because of Keto diet.

woman disgusted at her keto breath

Everyone is basically not in favor of catching a foul breath. Well, who would actually be? But let’s all admit it – changing something will result in another change also. This has been proven to be the same in the case of Keto dieting.

When you’ve completely shifted to Ketogenic dieting, you might have experienced the Ketogenic breath already. However, this is not something that you should worry about.

It is pretty normal for Keto dieters to experience one of the most common Ketosis side effect – Keto breath.

There are a lot of possible reasons why you’re experiencing the Keto breath and the increasing number of Ketones in your body is actually the main reason why. Keep in mind that this is only temporary. Ketosis breath is said to go away once your body is completely keto-adapted.

We completely understand that it is a whole-hearted decision for you to continue the Keto diet. However, with the foul breath you’re temporarily experiencing, your social life might suffer in the other end.

To help you with your concerns, bear with us as we try to explore the real score behind the Ketogenic breath.

Causes of Ketosis Breath

There are two main reasons behind the Keto breath:


Ketones are the ones responsible in placing your body in the state of Ketosis. As you start with your diet, you liver starts to break down all the fatty acids in your body and turns them into Ketones. Now the ketones, are the fuels that your body needs in order to keep you energized.There are three kinds of ketones that are being released to your body; acetone, acetoacetate, and beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB). Unlike BHB and acetoacetate, acetone is the least abundant. Having said, this type of ketone is being released through your urine and through your breath. Now you know what’s causing that foul smell? Regardless of the negative side effect, acetone in the body is actually a good sign that you’re finally in Ketosis.


This is pretty common not just in Keto dieters, but also for those who undergo low-carb diets. Yep, you might have guessed it right. Eating too much protein is one of the culprits. Once your body starts to break down protein, it starts to develop ammonia which is later on being release through urine. However, if your body fails to break down the excess amount of protein, your body could develop a bacteria that ferments in the gut which causes the ammonia to be released through breath. Protein consumption could even cause small particles to get stuck in between your teeth where bacterias are most likely to ferment. This somehow, could add to the reasons why you begin to develop a bad breath. On some cases, whenever you try to suppress your hunger and choose not to eat, there will then be less saliva production. Saliva as we all know, helps to flush out all the bacterias in the mouth. Failure to do so, could give you an unpleasant odor in the mouth.

How long will Keto Breath last?

Just like what I’ve mentioned above, Keto breath will disappear once your body is fully keto-adapted. Keto adaptation will help lower the number of ketones produced in your body which could also help reduce you from catching a foul smell in the mouth. Another instance would be, if your body begins to use fats as energy. Ketones are primarily being used to provide energy for the body. Once the number of ketones in your body has been lowered, the tendency is your body will use fats for energy instead of ketones.

The period of time it will take you to be fully Keto-adapted depends on your overall lifestyle and diet. Remember that the ultimate goal of Ketosis does not depend on the number of Ketones your body will produce – but it’s to make you into an effective fat-burner.

For some Keto dieters cases, their Keto breath only lasted for a week or even a month only. As you continue your Keto diet, you will surely master how to effectively play with your macros. You’ll then start to eat less protein or avoid other causes that make you uncomfortable due to bad breath.

Ketosis Bad Breath Treatment

  1. Eat less protein – On a Keto diet, 30% of your macros should come from protein. For the standard rule of 2000 calories per day, it is only expected that you consume around 150 grams of protein on a daily basis. To make sure you do not exceed with your protein intake, you may use a Keto calculator to keep you on track. Aside from causing a bad breath, too much protein could also kick you out of Ketosis since it could stall your macros.
  2. Increase fluid intake – Aside from using saliva to flush out all the bacterias in the mouth, increasing your water intake could also help. To prevent foul smell and dry mouth, you need to make sure you stay hydrated most of the time. Anyhow, increasing your water intake is actually needed most especially when you’re doing a low-carb diet.
  3. Increase carb intake – Bumping up your carb intake could help reduce the bad odor in the mouth. However, Keto diet is pretty strict when it comes to macro counting so you can only increase your carb intake gradually by eating additional carbs in smaller amounts.
  4. Cleanse more – Brushing your teeth isn’t really an end result for bad breath. However, doing so could help reduce the smell of acetone in your mouth. Whether in Keto diet or not, it is even advised to brush your teeth every after meal. We’re recommending you cleanse your mouth more often in order to keep your mouth from being dry. You also need to make sure you’re using alcohol-free upon cleansing since alcohol could help make the mouth even drier.
  5. Chew mints and gum – Chewing gums and mints could help make the bad breath go away – making you more confident in socializing with people. Just keep in mind that some gums contain few amount of carbohydrates so you just need to be careful with that. You may consider sugar-free gums just to make sure you don’t consume extra carbs.

It is really quite embarrassing when you have a bad breath. Most especially when you can’t explain to people that the foul smell is only because of Keto diet. Anyway, our target goal here is to still get rid of those unwanted pounds. As for the Ketogenic breath, you can always refer to the provided remedies above in order to help you make the unwanted odor go away.

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