What really causes bad breath?

In the first part of our series on common health issues and their underlying causes, we focus on a much more common one, bad breath!!!

 

Beauty may only be skin deep, but how we look and feel on the outside can say a lot about what’s happening on the inside.

When something is amiss, our bodies find ways to tell us, sometimes sending some surprising signals (think of them as a friendly little nudge) to let us know what’s up. Paying attention to these signs and learning to stay in tune with your body can offer some surprising insight into your health — if you’re listening, that is.

In the first part of our series on common health issues and their underlying causes, we focus on a much more common one, bad breath!!!

Blame your Paleo diet. “High-protein, low-carb diets put your body in starvation mode, where you don’t have enough carbohydrates to use as energy, so your body produces something called ketones to help you metabolize fat instead,” says Kimberly Harms, DDS and A.D.A. spokesperson. “It’s one of the reasons these diets work, but a byproduct of fat-metabolizing ketones is funny-smelling breath.”

In addition to brushing and flossing more often, sip water and chew gum to promote saliva production. “Saliva acts as a disinfectant, flushing odor-causing bacteria from the mouth,” says Harms.

The condition, known as ketosis, can also be the result of uncontrolled diabetes and can be life-threatening, so see your doc ASAP if you are diabetic or suspect you may be.

And remember: Not all carbs are evil! Diabetics, health devotees — and really everyone — should incorporate more healthy complex carbs into their diet, like whole grains, legumes, beans, fresh fruits, and veggies.

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