Every few years, a new diet trend seems to spread through the culture. One of the latest trends is the keto diet. This diet eliminates almost all carbohydrates from one’s daily meals and includes key options such as cheese, eggs and meat. While the keto diet can help change your body and induce weight loss, you should also be aware of the effects it has on your dental health. The keto diet can have both positive and negative effects on your dental health. When you understand these effects, you can take precautions to ensure your smile stays healthy during the keto diet.
How Keto Diet Affects Dental Health
Reducing your carbohydrate intake invariably means that you must avoid sugar in your diet. Oral bacteria feed on sugar and reducing sugar intake will reduce the chance of tooth decay, infection and the formation of cavities.
One positive benefit of the keto diet is a reduction in plaque buildup on the teeth. Plaque usually comes from the accumulation of bacteria and tartar on the teeth and gums. Living a life without plaque buildup is almost inevitable.
However, people who live a keto lifestyle are different. You limit carbohydrates as much as possible. Carbohydrates are largely responsible for plaque because your digestive system converts them into sugars in your bloodstream and mouth.
Reducing plaque also means reducing tooth decay. Sugar that rests on your teeth can lead to tooth decay. The bacteria that cause tooth decay thrive in a sweet environment. Avoiding sugar in your diet can reduce the likelihood of tooth decay. A low-carb diet without candy, sugary fruits, sugary juices, baked goods, soda and other similar foods/drinks can help keep your mouth healthy. A ketogenic diet has high fat, lean meats, and limited carbohydrates as part of its structure. There is little to no sugar in the diet, so no cavities will form.
A keto-based diet combines anti-inflammatory fats with antacid-rich nutrients, resulting in reduced joint pain, back pain and other similar conditions. Many people do not understand that the ideal way to treat various gum diseases is through a sound dietary regime, and keto foods are a magnificent asset to stop future deterioration that may lead to bleeding gums and other gum-related diseases. Nutritional products such as nuts, seeds, lean meats and oily fish contain high levels of omega-3s, which can fight inflammation. What’s more important? These foods are also part of the keto diet. Keto-adapted nutrients are likewise one of the best food sources for reducing gum disease and oral inflammation. In one examination, people on the lowest sugar and low keto diet showed an average improvement in gum bleeding from 35% to about 13% when tested, with an average expected improvement in pocket depth of 0.2-0.3mm.
Bad breath (Keto breath)
One of the most obvious impacts on your oral health is bad breath. It’s a fact that cutting down on carbohydrates will produce halitosis. As you transition into a ketogenic diet, the body burns fat instead of carbs. These reactions cause ketones to develop.
Ketones are chemicals that are normally part of the human body. When you burn a uniform mixture of fats and carbs, however, you don’t notice their effects. Keto diets are extremely strict, so they produce an extreme reaction by creating bad breath. Drinking water, chewing sugarless gum and other solutions can help you with the bad-breath issue.
Having a restrictive diet means that the concentration of nutrients entering your body is unbalanced. This fluctuation can and does change the chemistry of the body. Even slight shifts can raise or lower the alkalinity of saliva and increase tooth decay. Remember, oral health requires maintaining a fine balance.
One known side effect of the keto diet is osteoporosis. Simply put, this is a weakening of the bones, in this case due to not having enough nutrients to form adequate bone mass. As the jawbone becomes weaker, the teeth can begin to become loose.
How to Look after Your Teeth during the Keto Diet
There are a few things you can do (or choose not to do) while you’re on a keto diet. These are basic precautions that should help your teeth resist the ill effects of a fat-rich diet.
- Drinking lots of water
- Floss regularly (not obsessively)
- Brush your teeth twice a day (don’t keep brushing to deal with keto breath – it can damage your teeth).
- Choose sugar-free mints and moderate chewing gum use
- Maintain a wholesome diet as far as possible (for a broad spread of nutrients)
- Make visits to your dentist more frequent (especially if you have an oral ailment or had dental surgery in the past few months)
There is no substitute for daily brushing and flossing to keep your teeth and gums stable. However, dealing with your ketosis levels is also critical to maintaining good dental health. Low-sugar, low-starch, whole foods and unprocessed foods in ketosis are a big step toward better dental health. The supplements and nutrients available in keto foods also promote the process of tooth remineralization and the fight against gum disease. In general, this is an excellent alternative to the sugar-rich diets that harm our teeth. As for the side effects that you might encounter, you can take measures listed above accordingly to avoid them. However, do remember to consult your doctors before you take any diet to weigh up how the diet affect your overall health.