Oral & Vision Health Blog

How can intermittent fasting help bad breath?

When you think of intermittent fasting, you probably think “diet,” but probably not bad breath. So how is fasting connected to oral health? Some research shows that intermittent fasting has a positive effect on oral health by helping with bad breath. To understand how intermittent fasting can help bad breath, it is good to know how your intestines or "gut" plays a part in the symptom.

The Connection Between Bad Breath and Your Gut

When you think of bad breath, you probably don’t think that an unhealthy gut is part of the problem. You may have great oral hygiene and not know that your symptoms are part of another problem. The make-up of bacteria living in your intestine is known as your gut microbiome. When there is an imbalance with the microbes in your stomach, some types of microbes can overgrow, and interact with the oral microbiome. An unhealthy microbiome can cause bad breath by releasing a bad smell through the digestive tract.

How can intermittent fasting help?

Dr. Steven Lin, a dentist, TEDx speaker, and author of The Dental Diet, says, "Your body is designed for periods without food. Your sympathetic nervous system regulates these periods," he explains. Researchers have found that diversity in bacteria is key to a healthy gut, yet our modern-day diet does not produce enough diversity of microbes. We tend to stick with our usual diets out of convenience or comfort. When there is a decrease in the diversity of bacteria, an imbalance is created in your microbiome. Intermittent fasting has proven to help create a more diverse and healthy environment for your gut because fasting allows for time to start a bacterial reset in your microbiome. Many conditions can stem from imbalances in the digestive system, so correcting those imbalances can help resolve issues such as gum disease and bad breath.”

There are many possible benefits to intermittent fasting including weight loss and oral health. When practicing new methods, such as intermittent fasting, make sure to routinely consult with your dentist about any concerning symptoms. If you’re looking for alternative options, consider these six simple steps to fight bad breath!

New Call-to-Action