The ketogenic diet is all the rage for people looking to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Many people are beginning to realize its importance in weight loss; the restriction of carbohydrate intake causes the body’s metabolism to burn fats for energy, which results in the loss of calories. If you’ve ever tried consuming a keto diet, you might have realized some unpleasant side effects that begin to manifest alongside the desired changes. One of these side effects is what experts refer to as “ketosis breath”; a sign that your oral health is being affected by the keto diet.
How does ketosis affect your breath?
Many people will caution to watch out for “keto breath” when they realize you are taking up a keto diet schedule. Interestingly, this diet results in foul odor from your mouth; but how does this happen? Well…when you start swapping the average carb-heavy diet with foods that are rich in proteins and fats, your body goes into ketosis. The University of California describes ketosis as a process whereby the body starts to burn down fat for energy when the glucose reserves have deteriorated. During ketosis, the body converts fats into three kinds of ketones (fat byproducts). One of the ketones produced, known as “acetone”, is not utilized by the body’s energy stores. This implies that your body eliminates through your urine and lungs. This is what makes your breath have that distinctive smell that has been described as being overly sweet and fruity.
Keto diet and oral health
So how does the keto diet affect my oral health? Although a keto diet may cause your breath to start “kicking”, it’s not exactly harmful to your general oral health. In fact, the diet might be beneficial to the health of your mouth. What the keto diet essentially does is keep you from processed sugars. Research has shown that processed sugars account for the worst foods when it comes to oral health. This is because oral bacteria find optimal conditions in a sugary environment that causes them to thrive, leading to tooth decay. A keto diet helps you to avoid this situation. Consuming a low-carb diet can also result in reduced inflammation. Research from BMC Oral Health suggests that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids and low in carbs causes reduced rates of inflammation and gingivitis among patients. Except for the killer breath, a keto diet might actually end up enhancing your overall oral health.
How do you deal with the keto breath?
Once you begin to notice an unusual odor in your breath as a result of your diet, it is important that you find ways to manage this new development appropriately. You might want to use the following tips to keep your breath fresh:
• Have a water bottle on hand to sip through the day
• Chew sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva and make your breath fresh
• Adjust your consumption of complex carbohydrates and continue to avoid refined sugars
• Keep up with proper oral health habits of brushing and flossing your teeth daily
• Mix fresh herbs in your water or tea. Herbs such as cinnamon, fennel, and mint will naturally freshen your breath
If you have issues with your teeth or any doubts about your oral health, make a point of visiting ProCare Dentistry for consultations or book an appointment through the phone.
For a consultation and to schedule an appointment contact us today at (561) 737-5530