The keto diet is a popular diet trend that many people use to lose weight quickly. However, while the keto diet may be good for burning fat, have you ever considered whether it’s a good choice for your smile? After all, what you eat has a huge impact on the health of your teeth, gums, and oral health. Here’s how the keto diet and oral health in Northgate are connected.
What Is the Keto Diet?
Essentially, the body burns carbohydrates for energy. If carbohydrates aren’t available, the next source of fuel is fat. This metabolic process is called ketosis. To take advantage of ketosis to lose weight, the keto diet primarily revolves around low-carbohydrate, high-fat and high-protein foods.
However, ketosis produces molecules called ketones. Too many ketones can be dangerous to your health, so doctors recommend only using this type of diet as a short-term option. You should always consult with your primary physician before making a drastic change to your daily diet.
How Does the Keto Diet Impact Oral Health?
On the keto diet, you’ll be primarily eating foods like lean meats, fish, cheese, nuts, and low-carb vegetables. Thankfully, these all contain important vitamins and minerals that are needed to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Most are brimming with calcium and phosphorus, which play a key role in rebuilding and strengthening tooth enamel. Fiber-rich veggies will help lower your risk of tooth decay and snacks with high amounts of vitamin C will encourage healthier gums.
Most importantly, the keto diet is low-carbohydrate and low-sugar. You’ll be staying away from sodas, chips, crackers, and sweets if you’re on the keto diet, which will have a dramatic effect on your oral health. All these snacks feed cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth and increase your risk of gum disease. Avoiding them will boost the long-term wellbeing of your smile!
Are There Negative Side Effects of the Keto Diet?
There is one notorious negative side effect that comes with this popular diet: “keto breath.” Part of the way your body gets rid of ketones in your body is through exhalation. These molecules have a very distinct smell, and can lace your breath with a sickly sweet, acetone scent, similar to nail polish remover. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to keep your smile fresh, like:
- Start slow: Gradually cut carbs and sugar out of your diet to give your body time to adapt to the keto diet and the accompanying ketones.
- Drink lots of water: Dry mouth is a common side effect of starting the keto diet, which allows stinky bacteria to buildup. Drink plenty of water to wash them away.
- Practice great oral hygiene: Brush after every meal, floss daily, rinse with an alcohol-free mouthwash, and chew sugarless gum to promote saliva production and keep your smile healthy and clean.
A routine dental checkup with a thorough cleaning from your Northgate dentist can give you a head start on beating keto breath before you begin the keto diet. Whether you partake in this popular trend, a different diet, or neither, practicing great oral hygiene and good dental habits will help keep your smile beautiful and fresh for life!
About the Practice
At Oak Tree Dental Care, we are passionate about helping the smiles of Northgate and the surrounding communities achieve and maintain optimal oral health. We firmly believe that preventive care and patient education are the foundation of keeping a smile healthy for life, which is why we encourage our patients to come in for their routine checkups and cleanings twice a year. These regular visits will allow us to catch issues as early as possible and help you learn more about caring for your teeth and gums at home. To learn more, we can be contacted via our website or at (206) 207-0619.