As with any surgery, weight loss surgery comes with side effects. Our surgeons prepare us by telling us some of those side effects. However, they sometimes forget to tell us about the strange ones that can come with this surgery. One of those side effects is bad breath. Yes, you heard me correctly. Bad breath. Bad breath is more common in people with Gastric Bypass, but it can occur with any type of surgery. There are many different reasons why it happens such as dehydration, stasis of food within the stomach, and ketosis. It is a side effect that most people aren’t aware of before having surgery, so let’s discuss it now.
The first reason for bad breath is dehydration. In preparation for surgery and after the procedure, we hear all the time that staying hydrated is crucial. Staying hydrated helps our bodies stay healthy, especially after undergoing a procedure like weight loss surgery. Dehydration causes your mouth to produce less saliva. When you have the appropriate amount of saliva in your mouth, you are able to swallow more bacteria. When your mouth is dry and doesn’t have a lot of saliva, it can cause bacteria to stay in your mouth, which causes bad breath. Try your best to stay hydrated for the many benefits water provides us.
The next reason why bad breath can happen after surgery is due to stasis of food within the stomach. The way our digestive system works after surgery is different. It takes time to get used to the changes that come after bariatric surgery. Stasis of food within the stomach means that there is a delay in emptying the food. This only happens to a small population, but it can increase your chances of having bad breath. Make sure you talk with your surgeon about this as he/she will be able to provide further guidance.
Lastly, ketosis is another culprit to bad breath. Since we are eating significantly less food and specifically less carbohydrates, our bodies might go into ketosis. Acetone is a ketone in your breath and can decrease when you are in full ketosis. We naturally go into ketosis a lot due to the types of foods we eat after weight loss surgery. When you are in ketosis, the best thing to do is brush your teeth as often as you can and use sugar-free gum to help with the bad breath.
Bad breath can be challenging to deal with after bariatric surgery. This is definitely one of the cons from having surgery, but I believe it is one that you can manage. It might be a little embarrassing and annoying at first, but you do learn to adapt to the changes that take place after bariatric surgery. Just remember all of the success you have had and I am confident that you will stop worrying about bad breath as often.