Oral hygiene is an essential part of maintaining a healthy life. Bad breath can be an unpleasant experience for anyone. If you thought that eating causes bad breath, here’s time to look at hunger-caused bad breath.
Known as fasting breath, even people with a clean mouth can experience foul breath. It happens with so many people who are fasting or consuming an ultra-low calorie diet. Whether you have missed a meal or not eaten in a considerable period, you could experience intermittent fasting bad breath.
This hunger-induced bad breath is usually not linked to any serious dental or oral health issues; still, it is best to treat the causes at the earliest.
Halitosis: A condition of Bad Breath
Bad breath can originate anywhere in the dental cavity, including the teeth or mouth, or it could be a symptom of an underlying health problem. It could be a temporary or a chronic condition.
As pointed out by the American Dental Association, almost 50% of adults are likely to have halitosis once in their lifetime. Simple routines such as replacing your old toothbrushes with new ones once every three months, cleaning your dentures or mouth guards daily, and regular dental cleaning and examination every six months can prevent breath odor.
While poor dental hygiene, heavy foods, strong beverages, smoking, and dry mouth can worsen the problem, gum disease, known as periodontal disease can also cause bad breath.
When plaque hardens into tartar over time, it cannot be removed by regular brushing. These tartars can cause pockets between teeth and gums that collect food particles, bacteria, and dental plaque, causing odor.
Sometimes, mouth or throat conditions or underlying diseases such as liver disease, diabetes, kidney disease, sleep apnea, or other gastroesophageal reflux disorders can give way to halitosis.
Here’s more on how a fasting breath condition is likely to affect many people.
Why Does Your Breath Stink when you Fast?
Are you wondering why does fasting cause bad breath? Here’s how missing meals can impact your breath in two different ways.
When you consume food, your body breaks down the meal into basic glucose molecules, distributed around the body in the bloodstream, and can fuel your everyday activities.
However, when you don’t eat, your body starts banking on the energy reserves in the body. In the process, as the breakdown of fats takes place, ketones are released. Some of these smell unpleasant, causing your breath to develop a foul odor. It is known as ketosis breath.
Bad breath while fasting is also caused by salivary inhibition. Did you know that the saliva in your mouth has some magical properties that can control how your breath smell? The pH of saliva and the fluid consistency can help rinse away food particles from the mouth while simultaneously inhibiting bacterial growth.
Also, saliva is a natural remedy for bad breath by keeping the volatile sulfur compounds under control. However, what happens at night is that the salivary flow reduces, causing the morning breath. The same happens while intermittent fasting. With a long time difference between meals, the saliva flow declines.
Things You Can do to Get Rid of Fasting Bad Breath
Many people have a dry mouth, while fasting is a common phenomenon that can cause fasting bad breath. There are several ways that can be used to combat the issue.
Eat More Often
If you are experiencing bad breath fasting, it will be essential to keep hunger at bay. Going without food for long hours can impact your metabolism aside from causing bad breath. Nibbling on healthy snacks can prevent your body from developing keto breath.
Skipping breakfast is never a good idea, especially when combatting fasting breath. While you can develop a bad breath when hungry and eating can settle it, avoid binge eating as that can adversely impact your health.
If you follow a fasting regimen, it may not be possible to eat often, but yes, you can keep your mouth fresh.
Fasting breath can be addressed by managing the salivary flow. It can be done by chewing gum as this increases the flow of saliva to the mouth and can manage bad breath when fasting. You can always choose sugar-free gum as it won’t interfere with your diet plan.
Keep Yourself Hydrated
Drinking plenty of fluids can increase the flow of saliva to the mouth. So, consider keeping a bottle of water in hand, and you can keep sipping on it guilt-free throughout the day. Water can keep your mouth refreshed and replenish your body while countering bad breath.
Use an Effective Oral Rinse
While water acts as a natural cleanser for your mouth, sometimes you may need a medicated solution to address fasting and bad breath-related problems. The population of bacteria in your mouth can increase with low levels of saliva in the mouth.
To reduce it, you can try using an over-the-counter mouth wash that can simply tackle the proliferation of bacteria. You should check the label for ingredients as most mouthwashes contain alcohol that can dry the palette, aggravating dry mouth conditions.
Keep Your Mouth Clean
Fasting dry mouth is prone to causing odor. An effective oral hygiene routine involving regular brushing, flossing, and scraping the tongue can help combat bad breath from fasting.
That’s because odor-causing bacteria tend to be found in the mouth, and keeping it clean at all times can prevent bacteria from thriving. You can also head for regular dental checkups to maintain a healthy mouth.
To know more on what to eat while fasting, read What To Eat During Intermittent Fasting: A Full Guide.
Avoid Foods that Cause Bad Breath when Breaking Your Fast
Some specific foods can trigger mouth odor. If you are suffering from fasting and bad breath already, eating foods such as onions, chilies, garlic, fish, or caffeinated drinks can increase the number of chemicals in the bloodstream, moving them to the lungs and leaving a lasting impact for a long time.
It is recommended to break a fast with water and preferably with fruits and vegetables and more probiotics. If you continue experiencing unexplained bad breath, it would be best to consult a medical professional to diagnose the problem and suggest remedial measures accordingly.
To conclude, there are several ways to increase saliva production and tackle intermittent fasting breath. While intermittent fasting bad breath is a common problem, there are ways to deal with it so you can safely continue your fast.
Eating healthy is always the most important part of any diet, and anyone who has tried intermittent fasting finds it challenging to decide on what to eat. if you need help in planning your meals, check out 21-Day Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan.