It could be said that the keto diet is taking the world by storm, as millions of people are now incorporating it into their lives. The plan has become popular because of the rapid results that people are experiencing. What’s the relationship between keto and dental health, though? Continue reading to get some valuable information from your local dentist.
The Basic Principles of the Keto Plan
The basis of the keto plan is that by switching your body’s typical reliance upon carbohydrates for fuel to fats, you can become more efficient at burning stubborn adipose (fat) tissue. The stars of the keto plan are healthy fats, fatty proteins, non-starchy vegetables, cheeses, nuts, and seeds. However, the program still allows for the consumption of a small portion of low-glycemic fruits.
Since oral bacteria feed on sugar, decreasing the carbohydrates you consume can have a positive impact on your oral health. There are some other advantages that you need to know about as well.
The Benefits of Keto
Just like your gut, your mouth has a microbiome, which could be considered as its own ecosystem. For optimum oral health, there must be a balance of the microorganisms that make up the environment. Here are some ways that the keto diet helps to stabilize and maintain homeostasis in your mouth:
Promotes Probiotic Foods
Typically, the types of foods you would eat on the keto plan help to promote the growth and maintenance of healthy bacteria in the body and mouth. Some examples are kimchi (fermented cabbage), pickles, sauerkraut and yogurt.
The less sugar you take in, the more you starve harmful oral bacteria. This can have a direct and positive impact on your oral health by reducing your susceptibility to tooth decay.
If oral bacteria are allowed to accumulate on your teeth and gums, plaque can develop, which is a sticky substance that causes inflammation. By limiting your sugar intake, you can reduce inflammation inside your mouth and the rest of your body, which promotes better overall health.
Supports Proper Orthodontic Growth
Vitamin K2 is a key nutrient involved in the maintenance of healthy and strong teeth, but many people are deficient in it. The healthy fats encouraged with the keto plan are excellent for helping your body absorb vitamin K2. As an added bonus, many of the foods that are higher in this nutrient, also contain calcium, which is essential in supporting tooth health and natural growth. Some good sources are eggs, cheese and butter.
A Challenge Posed by Following the Keto Plan
One of the downsides of following the keto plan is that you can develop “keto breath.” This is mainly caused by the acidity of your blood, and the fact that one of the ways ketones leave the body is through the mouth.
Here are some ways to combat any foul odors:
- Keep some sugar-free chewing gum handy.
- Sip on water to wash away built-up plaque.
- Use a tongue scraper to physically remove the buildup of sulfur left behind from protein digestion.
No matter what type of diet you’re following, it’s always in your best interest to visit your dentist in Plano every six months for checkups and cleanings. Therefore, along with getting your body into “tiptop” shape, you can maintain the absolute best in dental health!
About the Author
Dr. Jason L. Montgomery is a graduate of Baylor College of Dentistry. He provides exceptional care to help his patients achieve excellent oral and overall health. Dr. Montgomery can be reached for more information through his website.