The new year is when many people resolve to lose weight. For the past few years, one of the most popular weight loss trends has been the keto diet. Famous for dramatically reducing carbs, the diet has garnered both strong praise and harsh criticism. In this post, the Duncan dentist at your Chisholm Trail dental office explains the impact of the keto diet on your oral health
At Chisholm Trail Smile Center in Duncan, OK, Dr. Matthew Bridges understands that oral and physical wellness are inseparably linked. Though he treats dental conditions, he wants you to enjoy overall health, including a healthy diet. Of course, he is not a weight loss expert, so you should consult with your physician before beginning any particular diet.
To learn more about the connection between diet and oral health or to schedule a dental appointment, contact our office today.
What is the keto diet?
Most adherents of the keto diet practice a modified version of the original, which was developed in the 1920s. By dramatically reducing carbs, a dieter deprives her body of glucose, the main source of energy. To access the necessary energy, the body then begins to break down fat stores, a state known as ketosis.
To achieve ketosis, your diet should consist of about 70-80% fat, 10-20% protein, and 5-10% carbohydrates.
The Keto Diet and Tooth Decay
Carbohydrates are not only the body’s main source of energy, carbs are the primary food source for oral bacteria, as well. When you eat carbs, especially refined carbs like sugar, oral bacteria multiply to form sticky plaque and, eventually, hard tartar. These substances can eat through your tooth enamel, creating a cavity.
When you cut carbs in the keto diet, you also reduce your risk of tooth decay and an emergency trip to your Chisholm Trail dental office.
Ketosis and Your Breath
Although the keto diet can have positive long-term benefits for your teeth, it can have negative consequences for your breath. Once your body starts using ketones for energy, you could develop very distinctive “ketosis breath.” Many describe the smell of ketosis breath as being similar to the odor of nail polish remover. It can also cause a metallic taste in your mouth.
Keto breath occurs because one of the ketones that your body breaks down for energy is acetone, a common ingredient in many nail polish removers. When your body breaks down proteins, it can also release ammonia, which lends a distinctive odor to breath.
Keto breath is not permanent and will usually fade as your body adjusts to the diet.
Not ready to go low carb?
No doubt about it, the keto diet is a commitment. But don’t worry – if you’re not ready to slash your carbs, there are other diets that can protect your smile. In fact, if you are looking for the healthiest all-around diet, keto may not be the way to go. Health experts warn that it has numerous health drawbacks, especially since it involves high consumption of saturated fats.
In part because of this risk, the keto diet was recently named one of the worst diets for 2023. Instead, health experts recommend the Mediterranean diet, which earned the top spot. Indeed, this diet is full of healthy nutrients, which can benefit every aspect of your health – including your smile.
Contact Your Chisholm Trail Dental Office for More Oral Health Tips and Information
Dr. Bridges prioritizes patient education and is ready to answer your questions. Contact our Chisholm Trail dental office to speak to a member of our team or to book an appointment.
You can reach us online or call us at (580) 255-4880.