It seems as if there is always a new fad diet that is taking society by storm. From the atkins diet, low-carb diet, paleo diet or intermittent fasting, there are a bevy of ways to lose weight and to help aid in better health. While a desire to achieve better physical and mental health is important, it is also important to not neglect one's oral health. Today we are looking at the keto diet and how it interacts with our oral health.
The keto diet is currently a diet of choice for many which in short consists of high fat, adequate protein and low carbohydrate intake. One big "no no" while doing the keto diet is sugar. Minimal sugar in any diet will have any dentist jumping for joy because that will help decrease the bacteria in the mouth which is better for your teeth and gums.
While the keto diet has worked for millions of people, it does have one common side effect that impacts one’s oral health. Keto breath is typically a side effect of the body when it is in ketosis when the body is not yet using all the ketones produced by the liver. Eventually the body will use these ketones to power the muscles and brain. When you become keto-adapted the bad breath should subside. Keto breath typically lasts between a week and a month and will eventually subside.
Having good oral health and normally suggested habits can go a long way in preventing keto breath. The following are a few tips to help prevent the unpleasant keto breath.
Don't Forget Water
The human body will stop producing saliva when you don’t eat, and when partaking in the keto diet you naturally start to lose your appetite and eat less. As your appetite decreases the saliva in your mouth will lessen as well. Drinking a sufficient amount of water will help prevent bacteria from building up in your mouth which will help avoid the unpleasant smell. As water is greatly important to the body in general it is always important to stay well hydrated.
Good Oral Health Routine a Must
Although one may still experience keto breath after brushing their teeth, if you don’t have as much saliva, it is a good idea to brush frequently, especially after meals. Be sure to include flossing and mouthwash in that routine as well. Using a mouthwash without alcohol will help avoid the drying effect that mouthwash with alcohol tends to have. Another easy thing to do is to chew gum that is sugarless.
Gradually work on cutting carbs out of your diet rather than diving in head first. This allows your body time to adjust to the changes that come along with the diet. Sometimes if you slowly acclimate to the keto diet you can avoid keto breath altogether.
It is common knowledge that stress can drastically impact many aspects of one’s health by itself but also while doing the keto diet. Stress can decrease one’s saliva output and can also slow the digestion of proteins. Acid reflux is also known to be aided by stress and can cause bad breath as well. Find ways to reduce stress, such as exercise, and that can help minimize stress and maximize the results of the diet as well.
While many people suffer from bad breath there are ways to combat it. Whole body health is a great goal to shoot for and can be achieved with discipline and by being intentional. By starting out slowly and gradually building good habits you can obtain excellent results that can change the direction of your overall health.
At Swish Dental we are always here to promote you and your smile. From General Dentistry, Family Dentistry, Cosmetic Dentistry, to Invisalign and Sleep Apnea Treatment, making you smile is what makes us smile. We’d love to walk with you on your dental journey today!