As the weather warms up, people begin shedding their winter clothing for swimsuit season, and that brings on the tendency to diet. Dentists at the Texas A&M Health Science Center Baylor College of Dentistry say the popular high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets can lead to another problem: bad breath.

High-protein foods set off a chemical chain of events once the body starts digesting them. An excess amount of proteins means the body can’t break them down efficiently, resulting in excess amino acids. These amino acids combine with anaerobic bacteria, which are responsible for cavities and decay in the mouth. The result is that noxious sulfur compound that can be smelled on the breath.

“The best and safest way to lose weight is to reduce portion size, cut desserts and snacks, and eat more well-rounded fruits and veggies,” says Dr. Charles W. Wakefield, professor and director of the Advanced Education in General Dentistry Residency program at TAMHSC-Baylor College of Dentistry. “Eat a high-fiber breakfast, don’t eat late at night, and start an exercise program that is supervised by a gym expert, physician or someone who understands not only the physical part of weight loss and diet control but also the psychological part, which is extremely important.”

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