The keto diet is very popular in the diet and wellness world right now. For those of you who aren’t exactly sure what the keto diet involves, it is a low carb, high fat eating system designed to eliminate sugar from your diet. You’d think that anything that involves less sugar in your system would be good for your oral health, but is that the case with the keto diet? Below, we take a closer look at how the keto diet can impact your oral health.
Keto Diet and Oral Health
In short, the keto diet is one that is looked upon favorably by dental professionals, but it may also require some additional attention from the individual. The keto diet is beneficial for your teeth because the diet revolves around the absence of sugar.
With fewer carbs and sugars entering your system, there’s fewer food sources for bacteria to thrive. Studies have shown that the keto diet can lead to less bacteria in your mouth, which can reduce your risk of cavity formation and gum disease.
However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows for your mouth when you dive into the keto diet. One thing many dieters report is the development of what’s known as “keto breath.” Keto breath is oftentimes a byproduct of the beginning, albeit successful, stages of the keto diet. The condition is a temporary side effect that develops because your body is adapting to not needing to use all the ketones that are being produced by the liver. Eventually your body will adapt to this diet change and these ketones will be used as another form of fuel, but for now, their overabundance oftentimes results in a pungent mouth odor.
The bad breath typically lasts between a week and a month, but nobody wants to have bad breath, so you need to be especially conscious about your oral health during this period. Ways to combat keto breath include:
- Brushing your teeth, gums and tongue regularly
- Using mouthwash
- Carrying sugar-free gum or breath mints
- Increasing your water intake
- Slowly cut out carbs instead of doing it all at once
- Reduce stress in other areas of your life, as stress can reduce saliva flow.
If you are cognizant about your oral health while you’re on the keto diet, we’re confident that your teeth and your breath will be better for it. If you have any questions or concerns about your oral health before starting a diet regimen, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Dr. Brooks’ office. For more information, or to set up your next dental appointment, give our office a call today at (952) 888-2300.