Low-carb diets, intermittent fasting, paleo, Weight Watchers, keto, and more—people who want to lose weight are spoiled for choice when deciding the method by which they can reduce their weight. Did you know the keto diet affects dental health? It certainly does. A ketogenic diet, in which the main focus is on foods containing fat and protein, has positive and negative effects on oral health.
Paleo dieters attempt to eat like our ancient ancestors, and Mediterranean dieters try to eat like, well, they’re Mediterranean. There’s the Atkins Diet, the South Beach Diet, The Zone, Weight Watchers…the list seems never-ending.
So, what about the keto diet? It’s another diet method that’s been enjoying great popularity for some time. It’s not only hotly debated on social media and internet forums by hundreds of thousands of users, but also by Hollywood celebrities across the globe.
What is the Keto Diet and How Does it Affect Your Health?
The aim of the keto diet is to get the body into a state of ketosis. The state of ketosis is the primary target for keto dieters who are trying to lose weight. This is accomplished by removing carbohydrates from the body, and, instead, fueling it with fats, proteins, and low-carbohydrate foods.
In particular, this means that the keto diet consists mainly of meat, fish, poultry, eggs, avocado, nuts, and dark chocolate. On the other hand, sweets, many types of fruit, pasta, rice, potatoes, and bread are strictly forbidden.
The Keto Diet Benefits
The keto diet has a few benefits that may improve your oral health, but you should always trust your dental expert. Some small studies indicate that a low-carbohydrate, low-sugar diet reduces the formation of tartar, tooth decay, and gingivitis, even if you don’t change any of your routine oral hygiene habits. Restricting sugary foods from your diet limits the acid erosion of your teeth.
Another advantage of the keto diet is that it’s high in good fats. A low-carbohydrate diet high in omega-3 fatty acids reduces general inflammation and the risk of chronic disease.
Remember, everyone is different, with different restrictions and needs. It’s best if you visit Danville Family Dentistry to discuss nutrition, deficiencies, and how it affects your oral health needs.
In the end, the keto diet is an excellent way to prevent tooth decay and gingivitis, by merely reducing sugar that erodes tooth enamel and causes cavities. Eating less sugar means less bacteria on your teeth and in your mouth. Overall, less sugar is great for your oral health.
There are some downfalls to the keto diet and oral health, though.
The Keto Diet Disadvantages
While less sugar is excellent for weight loss and oral health, it can also bring some bad habits.
First, many keto dieters may feel as though they don’t need to floss and brush as often because less sugar = less oral care required. Unfortunately, this isn’t true and can lead to dry mouth and halitosis.
Halitosis, more commonly referred to as bad breath, is a risky side effect of the keto diet. While you may be losing weight eating meats and cheeses, you still don’t want to walk around with bad breath.
The Keto Diet and Bad Breath
The ketogenic diet curbs or eliminates carbohydrate intake so that your body burns fat instead of glucose. When your body makes this change in fuel for energy, you begin producing three types of ketones that are byproducts of fat, like acetone. Besides being used to store energy, acetone is released from your lungs and is the cause of bad breath in keto dieters.
Additionally, halitosis could be encouraged by an increase in meat-eating. Having chunks of meat debris left between your teeth can begin to rot and smell funky pretty quickly after a meal. Always floss and brush after a meal whenever possible.
Good oral hygiene is the most valuable first step in combating this side effect. Think about brushing, flossing, and tongue scraping. Since bad breath comes from your lungs, we recommend sugar-free chewing gum or mints. Plus, you should drink water all day, and you can even try adding herbs such as clove, mint, or cinnamon.
Whatever diet plan you follow, daily dental care routine is still the basis for healthy teeth. Call our talented crew today at 317-745-4400 and let Danville Family Dentistry schedule your next cleaning.
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Disclaimer: The information included in this article is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.