Keto diet has been gaining popularity rapidly over the past few months. Many of us may have seen or heard about people and celebrities losing weight using this popular diet. In this blog, we are going to see if the Keto diet affects our oral health? If it does affect our oral health, how does it affect our mouth?
The link between the Keto diet and our Oral Health
Keto diet or Ketogenic diet is a low carb and high-fat diet (LCHF). It involves drastically decreasing the amount of carbohydrate content in our diet and replacing the majority of our diet with fat. The reduced carbohydrate intake in our body puts it into a metabolic state known as ketosis. In this state, our body becomes incredibly efficient in burning fat for energy.
Basically your diet would comprise foods like meat, fish, cheese, nuts, etc. The sugar content in your diet would be almost absent or negligible. Less sugar in your diet is actually beneficial for our oral health since it drastically reduces the risk of cavities and gum diseases. But keto diet can cause something known as a keto breath which brings a fruity smell to your breath. Keto breath which is not so pleasant is the only known negative effect of Keto diet for oral issues.
What are the causes of Keto breath?
Keto breath is a temporary side effect of the keto diet. This occurs when our body does not fully use up the ketones produced by the liver. These unused ketones will eventually be used by your body to fuel your muscles and brain. This keto breath usually subsides once your body becomes keto-adapted.
How to prevent the keto breath caused by the diet?
- Drink good amounts of water: When we eat lesser food, less saliva is produced in our mouth. During the initial days of the keto diet, many people tend to lose their appetite which can reduce the amount of saliva in the mouth. This can increase the building up of bacteria in our mouth. Increased bacteria in the mouth aggravate the bad breath caused by the keto diet. So drinking plenty of water can prevent the build-up of bacteria in our mouth.
- Maintain proper oral hygiene: Maintaining proper oral hygiene is the basic step to ward off bad breath in general and even bad breath caused due to keto diet. Brushing, flossing and rinsing your mouth using alcohol-free mouth wash is helpful in preventing keto breath.
- Transition gradually: Rather than converting your diet entirely into a high fat and low carb diet overnight, it is recommended to gradually change your diet over time. This provides your body with enough time to adapt to the diet faster and reduces unused ketones in our body.