Dry Mouth on Keto: Causes, Solutions, and Prevention Tips

A dry mouth, a common side effect experienced by those following a ketogenic or keto diet, can cause discomfort and impact oral health.

The keto diet, known for its high fat, moderate protein, and low carbohydrate intake, can cause changes in the body’s fluid balance and metabolism, ultimately leading to dry mouth.

It is essential to understand the causes, signs, and symptoms of dry mouth on keto and how to manage it effectively to maintain optimal oral health.

While adapting to the keto diet, the body tends to lose water and electrolytes, resulting in increased thirst and a persistent dry sensation in the mouth.

Dehydration, certain medications, or an underlying medical condition can exacerbate this side effect. To address dry mouth on keto, it is crucial to consider oral hygiene practices, lifestyle changes, and knowing when to consult a healthcare provider for guidance.

Key Takeaways

  • Dry mouth is a common side effect of the keto diet, caused by fluid balance and metabolism changes.
  • Maintaining oral hygiene and incorporating lifestyle changes can help manage dry mouth on keto.
  • Consult a healthcare provider if dry mouth persists despite efforts to address it, or if it interferes with daily life.
dry mouth on keto

Understanding Dry Mouth on Keto

Ketosis and Its Effects on the Body

Following the keto diet, our bodies undergo a metabolic shift known as ketosis. In ketosis, our body uses fat as the primary energy source instead of carbohydrates. This shift can lead to several body changes, including dry mouth.

Dehydration can occur in the early stages of ketosis as our body flushes out excess water due to reduced glycogen storage. We can combat this issue by drinking ample water and replenishing electrolytes.

Keto Breath and Metallic Taste

As our body transitions into ketosis, it produces ketone bodies, such as acetone, which can cause keto breath.

This distinct breath has a fruity or metallic taste and odor, often accompanied by dry mouth. The increased production of ketone bodies can also stimulate the FGF21 hormone, which leads to a higher water intake requirement.

By being aware of these changes and staying committed to hydration, we can minimize the impact of dry mouth on keto.

In conclusion, experiencing dry mouth on keto might be a common side effect. Still, it can be alleviated by staying hydrated, replenishing electrolytes, and being mindful of our body’s needs.

As we continue our keto journey, our body will gradually adapt to these changes, and the symptoms should diminish over time.

Funny pretty redhead girl showing bad smell sign with her fingers

Causes of Dry Mouth on Keto

Dehydration and Electrolyte Imbalance

One of the reasons for the dry mouth on keto might be dehydration. When we follow a ketogenic diet, our body’s requirement for water increases, and sometimes, we may not be keeping up with the necessary hydration levels.

Along with water intake, it’s also crucial to maintain a balance of electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium.

On a low-carb diet, our insulin levels drop, which can cause the kidneys to excrete more sodium. This leads to an imbalance of electrolytes, which can cause symptoms like dry mouth, fatigue, and dizziness.

To prevent this, we should drink enough water and consume electrolytes from foods like avocados, leafy greens, and nuts, or consider taking supplements.

Reduced Glycogen Stores and Insulin Levels

Another cause of dry mouth on a ketogenic diet is reduced glycogen stores and insulin levels. As we switch from a high-carb to a low-carb diet, our body starts running on fat instead of glucose. This process decreases the glycogen stores in our muscles and liver, which leads to lower water content in our body.

Glycogen binds to water, so we tend to lose more water when glycogen levels drop. Consequently, we may experience symptoms such as dry mouth and increased thirst.

In conclusion, to tackle dry mouth on keto, we need to focus on staying hydrated, maintaining a healthy balance of electrolytes, and understanding how our body adjusts to the low-carb diet. By being mindful of these factors, we can ensure a smoother experience while reaping the benefits of a ketogenic lifestyle.

Symptoms and Signs of Dry Mouth on Keto


One of the most common signs of dry mouth on keto is increased thirst. This is because the body loses fluids and electrolytes as it enters ketosis.

As your body burns through its glycogen stores to enter fat-burning mode, fluid loss occurs, triggering the feeling of thirst. Drinking plenty of water and replenishing electrolytes can help alleviate this symptom.

Portrait of an attractive young male athlete being thirsty and drinking water

Fatigue and Headaches

As mentioned earlier, ketosis can lead to dehydration due to glycogen depletion. This can also result in fatigue and headaches, especially during the initial stages of ketosis.

To combat this, ensure you consume enough water and electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium.


Dry mouth on keto can also affect the digestive system. Dehydration, combined with a lack of dietary fiber due to the low-carb nature of the diet, can lead to constipation.

To minimize this issue, consume plenty of high-fiber, low-carb vegetables like leafy greens and adequate amounts of water to help ease digestion.

Gum Disease

Ketosis can cause keto breath, resulting from the body breaking down fats, producing a byproduct called acetone. This acetone releases in the breath, causing an unpleasant odor known as keto breath. A dry mouth can exacerbate this issue and potentially contribute to gum disease.

Maintain proper oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly, and consider using mouthwash to help alleviate bad breath. Additionally, drinking water frequently can help keep your mouth moist and reduce the risk of gum disease.

Patient curing caries decay visiting doctor dentist orthodontist at stomatological hospital clinic

Managing Dry Mouth on Keto

Staying Hydrated and Monitoring Water Intake

To manage dry mouth on keto, we must stay hydrated. During the initial stages of ketosis, our body loses a lot of water, which can lead to dehydration if not appropriately replenished.

Drinking enough water throughout the day helps alleviate dry mouth symptoms and maintain our overall health while on the keto diet.

To ensure we’re taking in enough water, it’s essential to monitor our water intake. A general guideline is to drink at least half our body weight in ounces daily.

For example, if we weigh 150 pounds, we should aim to drink 75 ounces of water. Adjust the intake depending on the exercise, climate, and body size.

Adjusting Carb Intake

Although the ketogenic diet primarily focuses on low carbohydrate intake, incorporating a small number of carbs helps with dry mouth issues. This is because reduced carb intake can lead to reduced insulin levels, which can cause our kidneys to hold onto less water and sodium.

By slightly increasing our carb consumption, we can help our body retain some moisture and decrease dry mouth symptoms. However, finding the right balance that still allows us to remain in ketosis for our weight loss and health goals is crucial.

Consuming Electrolytes

Since the keto diet is a diuretic, our body loses water and essential electrolytes. To manage dry mouth and stay healthy, we must ensure we get enough electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium.

Electrolytes can be found in keto-friendly foods like avocados, leafy greens, or supplements.

Additionally, consider reducing or eliminating sugar-free products, caffeine, alcohol, and xylitol, as these can contribute to dehydration or exacerbate dry mouth.

By following these three strategies, we can alleviate many of the dry mouth issues associated with the ketogenic diet while staying on track toward our weight loss and health goals.

Oral Hygiene and Lifestyle Changes

Practicing Good Oral Care

Proper oral hygiene is essential, especially when experiencing dry mouth on a keto diet. A dry mouth can cause an imbalance in the oral environment, leading to increased inflammation and susceptibility to infections.

It’s crucial to brush our teeth at least twice a day, floss daily, and rinse with mouthwash to keep our mouth clean and free of harmful bacteria. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings with a healthcare provider are also vital, as they can help promptly identify and address any potential oral health issues.

Avoiding Caffeine, Alcohol, and Sugary Foods

One effective way to reduce dry mouth symptoms while on a keto diet is to avoid or limit our consumption of caffeine and alcohol since they can exacerbate the problem.

It is important to pay attention to our fluid balance and ensure we’re drinking enough water throughout the day. Reducing the intake of coffee, tea, and alcoholic beverages will help maintain a balanced oral environment and reduce the chances of dry mouth.

Moreover, excessive consumption of sugary foods can increase ketone bodies, which might contribute to dry mouth symptoms. As a result, it’s essential to stick to keto-approved sweeteners when necessary and avoid sugary foods that can affect our oral health negatively.

Additionally, avoiding sugary sports drinks and opting for electrolyte-rich alternatives can help maintain proper fluid balance and reduce dry mouth.

In summary, by implementing good oral hygiene practices and making appropriate lifestyle changes, such as limiting our intake of caffeine, alcohol, and sugary foods, we can effectively manage and reduce the symptoms of dry mouth while following a keto diet.

Keto Diet’s Potential Health Benefits

Weight Loss and Blood Sugar Management

The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carb eating plan that has been shown to help some people lose weight.

By limiting carbohydrate consumption and increasing the intake of fats, the body enters a state of ketosis, where it starts to burn fat for fuel instead of carbs. This process can lead to weight loss, especially when combined with a calorie deficit.

The ketogenic diet can also help regulate blood sugar levels by reducing the body’s reliance on carbohydrates for energy. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals with type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes.

Epilepsy and Cancer Management

The ketogenic diet was initially developed as a treatment for epilepsy, and it has been shown to reduce seizure frequency in some individuals with the condition effectively.

This is because the high-fat, low-carb nature of the diet alters the brain’s metabolism, making it less reliant on glucose and more on fatty acids as a primary energy source. This can help reduce the incidence of seizures in some cases.

Furthermore, some evidence suggests that the ketogenic diet may have potential benefits for cancer management.

Cancer cells primarily rely on glucose to fuel their growth; by restricting carbohydrate intake and forcing the body to burn fats instead, the diet might limit cancer cells’ access to energy, slowing their growth.

While more research is needed to confirm these findings, it’s clear that the ketogenic diet offers promising health benefits for various conditions.

When to Consult a Healthcare Provider

While following a keto diet, dry mouth can be a common side effect due to ketosis and increased water consumption. However, there are instances where you should seek the guidance of a healthcare provider to ensure your overall health and wellbeing.

If you experience persistent dry mouth that does not improve with increased hydration may indicate an underlying medical condition. Certain medications and medical conditions like diabetes can also cause xerostomia (dry mouth). If you suspect an underlying issue, discussing your symptoms with your healthcare provider is important.

As we pursue weight loss through dieting, the risk of entering a state of starvation arises. If your calorie intake is deficient, your body may not get the nutrients needed to function correctly. In such cases, consulting a healthcare provider is crucial to maintain a healthy balance between weight loss and nutritional needs.

Furthermore, if you have pre-existing medical conditions or are taking medications that may interact with a keto diet, consulting a healthcare provider before starting the diet is advisable. They can guide any necessary adjustments to ensure a safe and successful weight loss journey.

Lastly, if you experience severe side effects from the keto diet, including persistent dry mouth or other symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue, and excessive thirst, contact your healthcare provider for an evaluation. They can determine whether these symptoms result from the diet or other underlying health concerns.

In conclusion, we must remain attentive to our body’s signals and seek professional guidance when necessary. Consulting a healthcare provider can help prevent complications and ensure a safe and effective weight loss journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does keto dry mouth last?

As we adapt to the keto diet, it is common to experience dry mouth. Depending on individual factors, this may last for a few days or even weeks. To alleviate dry mouth symptoms, we recommend staying hydrated and using electrolyte powders to balance essential minerals.

Signs of doing keto wrong

Although a keto transition might trigger some uncomfortable symptoms, there are key indications that you could be doing keto wrong:

  1. Constantly feeling hungry or tired.
  2. Cravings for sugar and carbohydrates
  3. Not losing weight or experiencing stalled weight loss
  4. Lack of mental clarity and focus
  5. Digestive issues such as constipation or diarrhea

If you face these issues, it’s time to reassess your keto approach.

Dry mouth and weight loss connection

A dry mouth is a side effect of the keto diet due to increased water loss and diuresis. This water loss contributes to the initial weight loss experienced in the first few weeks of keto. However, focusing on losing fat rather than just water weight for long-term success is essential.

Does keto thirst disappear?

Keto thirst may not completely disappear, as hydration is essential for optimal body function. However, thirst levels may lessen as your body adapts to ketosis and becomes more efficient in fueling fat. It’s important to always listen to our bodies and drink water when thirsty.

Keto tongue sensations

A change in diet may cause sensations on the tongue. Typical sensations on the tongue during keto may include tingling or burning sensations, metallic taste, or mild dryness. These sensations are temporary and should resolve as your body becomes more accustomed to the keto diet.

Dry mouth after consuming carbs

After consuming carbs on a keto diet, you may experience a temporary dry mouth feeling due to your body switching back to using glucose as its primary source of fuel. This change in fuel source may cause increased water excretion and dry mouth. To alleviate the symptoms, stay hydrated, and consider incorporating electrolytes into your diet.


In conclusion, dry mouth is a common side effect experienced by individuals following a ketogenic or keto diet. This occurs due to changes in fluid balance and metabolism resulting from the diet’s low carbohydrate intake. While dry mouth can cause discomfort and impact oral health, there are effective ways to manage and alleviate this symptom.

Staying hydrated is crucial to combat dry mouth on keto. Adequate water intake and replenishing electrolytes help maintain fluid balance in the body. Monitoring water intake and adjusting carb consumption can also contribute to managing dry mouth symptoms. Additionally, practicing good oral hygiene, such as regular brushing, flossing, and mouthwash, is essential to maintain optimal oral health.

It is essential to be aware of dry mouth’s signs and symptoms on keto and consult a healthcare provider if the symptoms persist despite efforts to address them or if they interfere with daily life. Certain underlying medical conditions or medications can also contribute to dry mouth, so seeking professional guidance is necessary.

While following a ketogenic diet, balancing weight loss goals and overall health is crucial. Consulting a healthcare provider before starting the diet, especially if pre-existing medical conditions or medications are involved. They can guide adjustments and ensure a safe and successful weight loss journey.

In summary, by understanding the causes of dry mouth on keto and implementing appropriate strategies to manage it, individuals can maintain optimal oral health and successfully navigate the ketogenic diet’s potential health benefits, such as weight loss and blood sugar management. It is essential to listen to the body’s signals, prioritize hydration, and seek professional guidance to ensure a safe and effective keto journey.

Related Posts

Enter Your Information For a
Copy of the Free Keto Recipes Book