The new year is a time for new beginnings, and for a lot of people, that means trying a diet that will help them lose weight. Keto is a popular one; this low-carb diet is designed to force your body to enter ketosis, a state where it’s burning fat instead of glucose for energy.
Any time you start a new diet, it’s important to understand not only how it’ll affect your body, but how it’ll affect your teeth. If you’re interested in trying keto, here’s how that can affect your oral health.
Is Keto Good for My Teeth?
As was said before, the keto diet aims to put you in ketosis. It does this by forcing you to eat lots of fats and very few carbs and sugars. The latter two can be broken down easily into sugars by saliva so, as it turns out, cutting them out of your diet can actually be a major benefit to your oral health.
By switching away from chips and soda and replacing them with nuts and water, you give the bacteria in your mouth much less to snack on. This will reduce your chances for tooth decay and gum disease.
Combatting “Keto Breath”
While keto is great for your oral health, there is one drawback: keto breath. Burning fat causes your body to create ketones which are expelled when you urinate or, more importantly, when you exhale. Acetone is one such ketone, meaning that your breath might start to smell like nail polish remover when you’re in ketosis.
This isn’t actually a problem for your oral health, but it’s also not too pleasant. Here are a few ways you can deal with it.
- Wait it Out: Keto breath will go away on its own within a week or two as your body adapts to the excess ketones.
- Start Slow: By easing into a keto diet, you’ll enter ketosis less often, so you won’t produce more ketones than your body can handle.
- Drink Water: Ketones are also expelled through urine; by drinking more water, you have more opportunities to expel ketones in ways other than your mouth.
Of course, good dental hygiene will make your breath smell better in general, so if your so-called “dragon breath” is especially foul, make sure that you’re brushing and flossing after meals.
About Our Practice
At Columbia Healthy Smiles, we don’t treat patients like a name and a diagnosis; we want to get to know you, and how we can help you get your dream smile. Our goal is to be a dentist’s office that patients want to visit again and again. To bring that goal to fruition, we work hard to treat our patients with integrity and respect.
If you have any questions about how your diet can affect your teeth, we can be reached at our website or by phone at (573) 875-7071.