One of the latest dieting trends is the ketogenic diet. It involves drastically restricting carbohydrates and adding more fats and proteins. In turn, the body goes into “ketosis” and begins to use the fat for energy instead of the glucose from carbs and sugars. For the ones who stick with this dieting plan, this typically results in weight loss and more energy
One of the telltale signs that you are indeed following the Keto diet and have entered into ketosis is the presence of bad breath. In fact, “ketosis breath” is a leading complaint of the Keto diet. If your diet is so strongly affecting your breath, what is it doing to your oral health? Here is a closer look at the good and bad of Keto dieting in terms of your oral health.
What Causes Ketosis Breath?
Ketosis breath occurs because your body is burning fat for energy instead of glucose. This triggers your body to convert fat cells into three types of ketones. One of the ketones, called acetone, can’t be used for energy. Therefore, your body rejects or releases it through your urine and lungs. Acetone in your breath often smells fruity and sweet – but not in the way you’d prefer.
Oral Health Wins
The American Dental Association agrees that processed sugars are one of the worst foods for your dental health. In fact, any type of carbohydrate and sugar can contribute to gum disease and decay since oral bacteria feed and thrive on these substances. In the Keto Diet, carbs and sugars are drastically reduced – which means a healthier mouth despite your unpleasant breath!
There’s one more bonus for the Keto Diet and your oral health. A study in BMC Oral Health found that a low carb diet that is high in omega-3 fatty acids contributes to lower rates of gingivitis and inflammation. This is a huge win in terms of periodontal disease!
Better Breath on a Ketogenic Diet
While there is no way to reverse the effects of ketosis on your breath, there are some ways you can freshen your breath odor while following a Keto Diet. These include chewing sugar-free gum, drinking more water, diligent brushing/flossing and adding fresh herbs (clove, cinnamon, mint) to water and tea.
Always make sure your physician approves your decision to follow a Keto Diet. However, you won’t hear your dentist complain about the effects of a low-carb and low-sugar diet on your oral health. For more tips on how dieting trends impact your smile, contact Gilreath Dental Associates in Marietta.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV,