Written on Friday, Dec 17, 2021
The keto diet is one of the most popular ways to lose weight today. However, it is very important to know, how trendy diets can affect your oral health. This is true for another quick weight-loss method, the lemonade diet. That one involves drinking highly acidic “lemonade” made with freshly squeezed citrus and sugary maple syrup. So, how does the diet affect your mouth?
The Keto Diet and Your Oral Health
The keto diet is one that consists mainly of eating lots of fats and proteins. For example, you would eat a lot of meat, fish, cheese, and nuts. This plan usually allows you to eat low-carbohydrate vegetables as well. One thing notably absent from this type of weight loss plan is sugar. Although this is great for your body and oral health, the diet does have its side effects. One such negative effect is foul-smelling breath.
Keto breath can range from not-so-bad to highly offensive. On the lighter end of this spectrum, your keto breath smells fruity or like acetone. But if there is a lot of bacteria in your mouth, you can experience the dreaded dragon breath. This very offensive odor is a sure sign that the diet is working for you. The bad part is, if you find yourself with dragon keto breath, no one will want to be around you.
In fact, your own keto breath can even be offensive to you. It is alarming to many dieters and they often feel concerned about their oral health.
Can I prevent keto breath?
The good news is the keto breath does not last the duration of your diet. It is a temporary problem. We are very glad about that. The “keto breath” is an effect of your liver producing more ketones than your body uses. As your body changes it starts burning these ketones as brain and muscle fuel. That is when the bad breath diminishes. The process of getting to keto-adapted and shedding your dragon breath typically takes one to four weeks.
How the Keto Diet Affects Your Mouth
The best ways to prevent keto breath are basically just good daily practices. We listed some helpful tips below to add to your routine if not doing already:
Drink lots of water to prevent bacteria build-up in your mouth
Maintain a good daily oral hygiene routine, including brushing twice daily and flossing
Use alcohol-free mouthwash for freshness without drying your mouth
Chew sugar-free gum after meals and to freshen your breath
The Keto Diet, Keto Breath, and Your Oral Health
One of the best tips is, when starting a diet plan, take things slow. Try slowly changing your diet over time, cutting carbs over an extended period. This enables your body to naturally adjust without releasing too many ketones at once. As a result, you will likely not experience keto breath.
Throughout your diet and everyday life, it is always best to maintain a low-stress level. Stress dries your mouth by reducing saliva flow. It also slows the digestion of proteins. If you feel anxious, you are more likely to experience acid reflux, as well. All of these stress-related issues lead to bad breath.
Also as you lose weight on the keto diet, remember that your health of your mouth is a priority, just like your physical health. If you have any concerns about starting a diet and the effect it can have on your oral health, schedule a visit with your dentist at Carolina Dental Arts in Raleigh or Goldsboro, North Carolina.