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How the Ketogenic Diet Affects Oral Health

30 Oct, 2018 general-dentistry

How the Ketogenic Diet Affects Oral HealthHave you ever noticed that trendy diets seem to come and go? Currently, the ketogenic diet is the big craze. Many medical professionals appreciate the positive aspects of this low-carbohydrate diet, reports Harvard University.

Bad Breath Solutions While on a Ketogenic Diet

However, most people are more concerned about the weight-loss benefits compared to impacts on their oral health. Consider some of the advantages and disadvantages to the keto diet when it comes to your dental health. There are changes that can arise.

Bad Breath Reigns

One of the most obvious impacts on your oral health is bad breath. It's a fact that cutting down on carbohydrates will produce halitosis. As you transition into a ketogenic diet, the body burns fat instead of carbs. These reactions cause ketones to develop.

Ketones are chemicals that are normally part of the human body. When you burn a uniform mixture of fats and carbs, however, you don't notice their effects. Keto diets are extremely strict, so they produce an extreme reaction by creating bad breath. Drinking water, chewing sugarless gum and other solutions can help you with the bad-breath issue.

Reduced Plaque Buildup with a Ketogenic Diet

A positive benefit to a keto diet is less plaque buildup on the teeth, reports Dr. David Perlmutter, M.D.. Plaque typically comes from the accumulation of bacteria and tartar on the teeth and gums. It's almost inevitable to go through life without plaque buildup.

People leading a keto lifestyle, however, are different. You limit carbs as much as possible. The carbs are largely responsible for the plaque because your digestive system renders them into sugars within the bloodstream and in your mouth.

No More Cavities

An extension of the plaque concept is the lack of cavities. Holes in the teeth will develop over long, time periods. At some point, your dentist will tell you that a filling is necessary.

Cavities rely on sugars to eat away at the enamel and tooth structure. Forgetting to brush your teeth on a regular basis, for instance, allows sugars to remain in place as cavities progress in severity.

Ketogenic diet have high fat, lean meat and limited carbs as part of their structure. There are practically no sugars in the diet, so they can't create cavities.

Saliva Acidity and Dry Mouth

Although a keto diet is beneficial for certain people, such as diabetics, there are a few drawbacks, notes Healthline. Because you aren't consuming a balanced diet, your internal pH becomes more acidic. As a result, your saliva has an acidic taste compared to the sweet taste with carbs in the diet.

When your saliva is acidic or dry mouth is an issue, your teeth and gums suffer the consequences. Saliva fights off germs and protects the tissues from harm. Both the acidity and dryness will cause oral issues that your dentist will need to address.


When you have any concerns about your oral health, it's time to speak to a dental professional. Give us every detail about your diet's limitations and indulgences so together we can make a positive impact on your dental health for years to come.

Noble Dental Care is accepting new patients and would love to be your Tempe dentist. Call our office today for an appointment. We look forward to meeting you!

Related Page: Can Ketogenic Diet Cause Bad Breath?