Is The Keto Diet Good For Your Teeth and Oral Health?
Is the ketogenic diet safe for your teeth and oral health? Well, find out in this short article. The answer might surprise you.
Keto Diet and Oral Health
The ketogenic diet has created a buzz in the health community and for good reason. Many have found success in restricting their carb intake so that the body burns fat instead of glucose to lose weight.
If you're following a keto diet, you might notice some unpleasant side effects that accompany the positive changes on the scale. For example, ketosis breath is a common complaint. Understanding keto breath is the first step to ensuring your diet doesn't impair your oral health.
The Cause of Keto Breath
To understand the cause of keto breath, it’s important to understand how metabolism works. Your body gets energy from a variety of food sources, including carbohydrates, fat, and protein. Typically, your body will break down carbohydrates or glucose for energy first, and then fat.
Since the ketogenic diet and low carb diet purposely restrict your intake of carbohydrates, your body is forced to use its fat stores for energy once you’ve depleted your glucose stores. Ketosis occurs when your body breaks down fat for energy.
Fatty acids are then converted into ketones, which are natural chemicals your body produces when you burn fat for energy. These include beta-hydroxybutyrate, acetoacetate, and acetone.
Ketones are usually harmless and released from the body through exhalation and urination. Because acetone is an ingredient in some nail polishes, your breath smelling like nail polish remover, in particular, can indicate a state of ketosis. On the one hand, this indicates that you’ve entered ketosis may be reassuring. On the other hand, it’s an unfortunate indicator.
If you've noticed that you have keto breath and you still want to continue your keto diet, consider some of these methods to deal with the smell:
- Chew sugar-free gum to help stimulate saliva and freshen your breath.
- Adjust your intake of complex carbohydrates, such as leafy green vegetables and whole grains, while continuing to avoid refined carbs.
- Fill a water bottle and sip throughout the day.
- Continue good oral health habits. A keto lifestyle, while beneficial for oral health, is not a substitute for daily brushing and flossing.
- Add some fresh herbs to your water and tea. Herbs such as clove, cinnamon, mint, and fennel are natural breath fresheners.
Keto and Teeth Health
We all know that sugar promotes disease-causing bacteria in the mouth. Carbohydrates provide the bacteria with the fuel they need to produce acid in the mouth, which causes demineralization and leads to decay and caries.
By limiting the consumption of both sugar and carbohydrates, the essential factors for creating acid erosion on the teeth are limited. This means that most low carb diets will lead to a much healthier mouth overall by preventing tartar build-up, cavities, and frequent visits to the dentist.
A low-carb diet may also help reduce inflammation. A study in BMC Oral Health found that a diet low in carbohydrates and high in omega-3 fatty acids resulted in lower rates of gingivitis and inflammation in patients. So while going low-carb may make your breath smell, it may actually help improve your overall oral health.
The simple rule of thumb? The less exposed your teeth and gums are to sugars of any kind, the better for their longevity.
A keto diet can be really simple, but it helps to learn some basic skills.
These tips and guides will help you answer all the common keto questions.
Click here for An Easy Detailed Guide to Follow for Beginners to The Keto Diet.