The keto diet is a trending diet that is all the rage with people trying to lose weight. Before trying any new diets, it is important to understand how they could affect your oral health.

What is the Keto Diet?

Keto is a low-carb, high-fat diet rich in fish, meat, cheese, low-carb veggies, and nuts. This diet is also free of sugar. With less sugar in your diet, it can lead to fewer bacteria in your mouth and on your teeth which is great for your teeth and gums.

What is Keto Breath?

While less sugar can be great for your oral health, keto also comes with “keto breath.” Keto breath typically has a fruity or acetone smell. When accompanied by bacteria in your mouth, it can have a more unpleasant smell, sometimes called “dragon’s breath.” Keto breath is a good sign that the diet is working, but it is unpleasant to walk around with bad breath.

What Causes Keto Breath?

Keto breath is a temporary issue that occurs when you first begin keto since your body is not yet using all the ketones produced by your liver. Eventually, your body will adapt to the keto diet and start using the ketones to fuel your body. Once you become adapted to the diet, your keto breath should subside.

How Can I Prevent Keto Breath?

There are a few measures you can take to help you avoid keto breath:
Ease into the diet.
Rather than cutting out all carbs immediately, try to gradually cut them out of your diet. This will give your body a chance to adjust and slowly release ketones. When you give yourself time to adjust, you may be able to bypass keto breath.
Don’t stress out.
Starting a new diet can be stressful. Stress can slow the digestion of proteins and can also reduce the flow of saliva. Stress can also lead to acid reflux which can contribute to bad breath. Be sure to take the time to de-stress by relaxing with a good book, meditating, exercising, etc.
Stay hydrated.
As you eat less, you will not be producing as much saliva as usual. This will cause your mouth to get dry, which creates the perfect environment for bacteria to grow, which can lead to bad breath. By staying hydrated, you can avoid this bacteria growth while also giving you an energy boost.
Practice good oral health habits.
While you can still experience keto breath after brushing your teeth, you should still brush after every meal since you aren’t producing as much saliva. Be sure to floss daily and use an alcohol-free mouthwash.
For more information on managing keto breath or to schedule an appointment, contact South Hills Dental Arts today!