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Bad breath with the protein diet: cause and treatment

  1. A bad breath odor is an unpleasant ailment that you would rather prevent. It is often associated with bad brushing of your teeth, or you have had extra strong spicy food, such as garlic. The well-known morning mouth odor is also a phenomenon that many people know. However, this is because the salivary glands do not work at night and this allows the bacteria in the mouth to run their course. But you can also get a bad mouth odor when you are on a diet and you can also get a bad taste in your mouth. It is a common complaint among people on a diet. What causes this and how can you treat or prevent bad breath while dieting?


  1. Diets Protein diet Disadvantages of a protein diet Dry mouth Bad breath treatment


  1. There are different types of diets that can help you lose or maintain weight. Diet itself does not cause bad breath. It is more what happens in your body during weight loss. It may be due to the nutrients, but also to the burning of fats in your body. Especially with the protein diet you have a high chance of a bad breath odor and a nasty metallic taste in your mouth.

Protein Diet

  1. With this diet the intention is that you mainly eat only protein and very little to no carbohydrates. You can find proteins mainly in meat, fish, chicken, dairy products, nuts, seeds, kernels, legumes, various vegetables and the white part of a boiled egg. There are different types of diets in which no or hardly any carbohydrates are eaten, the best known are:

Disadvantages of a protein diet

  1. Bad breath The protein diet is a good aid in weight loss, but the protein diet has one drawback, and that is that it can give you a bad breath and a nasty, metallic taste in your mouth. Proteins from dairy, meat and fish products that remain in the oral cavity are broken down by anaerobic bacteria and this gives you a bad breath. In addition, a protein diet burns fats and this combustion releases certain chemicals, such as acetone.

Anaerobic bacteria

  1. These are bacteria that do not need oxygen to get energy and to grow, they can even be killed by oxygen. Organic substances are broken down by these bacteria and because you consume a lot of organic substances during the protein diet, you are therefore dealing with these bacteria. These bacteria cause hydrogen sulfide, ammonia and methane to break down organic substances, and these cause a bad breath.


  1. During weight loss, the body will use the fat reserves to ensure weight loss. During this combustion, chemicals called ketones are released and are exhaled through the lungs. Acetone is one of these ketones and that is why it is sometimes referred to as an acetone odor and this is also the cause of a metallic taste in your mouth. Too much acetone in the blood and urine can be dangerous, but this is practically unheard of when using a protein diet. Keep drinking plenty of water, because water dilutes the concentration of ketones and also ensures that the bad breath smells less strongly.

Dry mouth

  1. A dry mouth or throat is also one of the biggest causes of bad breath. Dry mouth is caused by too little saliva. But saliva contains beneficial substances such as oxygen and enzymes that neutralize the bacteria that cause bad breath. So if you have a dry mouth with too little saliva, these bacteria can go about their business and a bad breath is created. Dry mouth often occurs during exercise or fasting, for example during Ramadan. This is due to a lack of moisture. If possible, try to keep drinking a lot. Eating acidic foods can also help stimulate saliva production.

Bad breath treatment

  1. You can prevent bad breath by using a tongue cleaner, a good working oxygen toothpaste or by using special mouthwash. You can also use a certain chewing gum without aspartame and sugar. This gum also prevents bad breath by breaking down proteins. A tongue cleaner is available at various drugstores. It is a special brush with which you can clean your tongue well. This way, any stubborn deposits on your tongue can be scraped off. The tongue cleaner has a double effect: with one side you can scrape your tongue and with the other side you can clean your tongue. Also drink a glass of water regularly, as water can wash away any protein residues and other bacteria. For good oral hygiene, it is best to brush your teeth and clean your oral cavity after every meal. You can do this with a toothbrush possibly with some toothpaste on it, toothpick, tooth cleaner, dental floss, mouthwash or tongue scissors.


  1. There are a number of natural remedies that counteract or hide a bad mouth odor. For example, you can put a clove in your mouth and chew it. When chewing a clove, a sharp oil is released that can sting a little in the mouth. Keep the clove moving and chew until the scent is permeated all over the oral cavity. Then spit it out. Do not use clove oil or clove powder, as they are too concentrated and can cause burns in the mouth. Chewing on fennel, dill, cardamom, or aniseed can help cover up bad breath. Anise has a disinfecting effect, it can kill bacteria on the tongue. Sucking on a cinnamon stick is disinfectant in the mouth.

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