A very popular New Year’s resolution is to get off unwanted weight. In fact, it tops this list off at number one! For some of us, it isn’t much of a goal. But for others of us, it’s a BIG undertaking (no pun intended). One of the popular eating plans in pursuit of keeping said resolution is the Keto Diet. Many are transforming their lives inside and out by adhering to this diet. But does eating this way impact your oral health positively or negatively? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons, then you decide.
What is a Keto Diet?
The keto diet is a high-fat eating plan with no more than 20 grams of carbs eaten each day. Eating 20 to 60 grams of carbs per day means you’re a low-carb dieter. Your body uses ketones or fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates.
To keep your daily carb intake at 20 grams or fewer, sugars, starches, grains, dairy, fruits and juices, must be avoided. And if you’re watching those carb grams with all diligence, you’ll read every nutrition label before putting something in your mouth. It’s amazing to discover all the places where carb grams are.
For example, milk is not allowed on a keto diet, but one cup contains 13 carb grams!
Where Carbohydrates are Found
According to apjcn.nhri.org, carbs can be divided into three groups:
The number of carb grams per 100 gram or 3.5274-ounce servings found in the following food choices may surprise you (like the cup of milk did me):
- Ovaltine – 79g
- Brown bread – 48g
- Cornflakes – 87g
- Quiche Lorraine – 21g
- Raisins – 64g
- Hamburger w/cheese – 21g
- Heavy whipping cream – 3g
- Cashews – 28g
- Peanuts, roasted and salted – 9g
- Worcestershire sauce – 18g
- Tomato soup, condensed – 7g
- White sugar – 100g
- Honey – 76g
- Popcorn, plain unsalted – 85g
- Mashed potatoes – 18g
- Raw onions – 5g
Pros to Celebrate
The best thing about the keto diet in relation to a healthy mouth is the noticeable absence of sugar. The less sugar consumed the less bacteria on your teeth. And that makes Dr. Davis happy for you since less bacteria in your mouth means fewer cavities and other oral health issues! Here’s a list of some of this diet’s benefits:
- Supports weight loss
- Improves acne
- Helps prevent and treat certain cancers
- May improve and protect brain function
- Can reduce seizures
- Improves PCOS symptoms
Cons to Consider
The first big con that can happen at the beginning of a ketogenic diet is the keto flu. As the body adjusts to burning fats instead of carbs, your body can experience:
- Low blood sugar
- Low tolerance for exercise
Medical doctors advise against eating a ketogenic diet long-term claiming an increased risk of the following health problems:
- Mineral and vitamin deficiencies
- Kidney stones
- Excess protein in the blood
- A build-up of fat in the liver
How Does a Keto Diet Affect Your Mouth?
Reducing your carb intake produces halitosis or keto breath. It’s a fact! When your body becomes keto-adapted though, the bad breath should either diminish or go away. Most people report that it can last a week or up to a month.
Less plaque builds up on your teeth. Carbs are the main reason for the buildup of plaque because your digestive system turns them into sugars in your bloodstream.
This was mentioned already. But since cavities are cultivated by sugars eating away at your tooth enamel, cutting way back on carbs prevents cavities from forming.
Properly Caring for Your Mouth While Eating a Keto Diet
Following the keto plan for eating goes hand-in-hand with great oral health. Why? Because drinking lots of water and good oral care habits prevent the cons associated with a keto diet. But drinking water and properly caring for your teeth is great for everyone to do every day.
Are you following a keto diet in the new year? What are some of the symptoms you have experienced while becoming keto-adapted? We’d like to know. Please leave a comment.
And don’t forget to schedule your complete teeth cleanings and checkups with our office. Regular visits help you achieve and maintain overall health, but we can give you a head start on your keto journey.
Quality Dental Care for Your Whole Family
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Cheyenne, WY 82001
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