Laparoscopic Associates of San Francisco

Bad Breath By Alisha Gillespie MS RD

January 13th, 2012 Posted in Bariatric surgery, Eating healthy, Nutrition, post weight loss surgery tips, Post WLS tips, Uncategorized, weight loss plan, weight loss surgery

Bad breathBad breath may be one of the less threatening concerns after weight loss surgery, but it can be an uncomfortable one for you and your loved ones, co-workers and all the other people around you.  The often sweet-metallic breath odor can be the result of dehydration, food not emptying from the pouch well, or the weight loss itself. 


Like many other common problems after weight loss surgery, your bad breath may be prevented by making sure you are getting adequate liquids.  The recommendation after weight loss surgery is to drink a minimum of 64 ounces of liquid daily but note that some recommendations are in excess of 10-12 cups daily.  Hydration is important regardless of whether or not you are experiencing bad breath, but even more important if you are.


There is also the possibility that bad breath is the result of the food you are eating not emptying out of the small stomach pouch quickly enough therefore resulting in a build-up of stomach acids in the pouch causing the undesirable odor. In this case, check with your doctor to see if an over-the-counter antacid may help.


Another explanation for bad breath after weight loss surgery is as you lose weight your body breaks down the stored fat, by-products called ketones form that when exhaled can cause what is known as ketotic breath.  Some compare the breath odor to that of the smell of Juicy Fruit gum.  Try increasing your protein intake to help reduce the effects of ketotic breath without sabotaging your weight loss plan. 


Tips to Fight Bad Breath after Weight Loss Surgery:

  • Drink 64 ounces of water or more
  • Brush and floss after every meal – liquid or solid.  Remember your tongue – bacteria and food particles can build up on any surface in your mouth
  • Chew sugar-free gum – it can stimulate the production of odor-fighting saliva
  • Try cinnamon-flavored gums – some research hints that an ingredient in cinnamon gym may further decrease the amount of bacteria in your mouth.
  • Visit a dentist to rule out gum disease or tooth decay

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