There are many dietary fads out there, but one of the most popular is reducing carbohydrate intake. Like all diets, going low-carb has pros and cons for your health, including your oral health. By understanding some of the drawbacks, you can make an informed decision about whether a low-carb diet is right for you.
Low-Carb Diets and Ketosis
One of the ways that a low-carb diet can harm your oral health is a process known as ketosis. When you restrict carbohydrate intake, your body will break down the fat that is stored for energy instead of glucose. This process produces ketones, one of which is acetone. Acetone can't be used by the body, and it is excreted via the urine and through the breath. This can cause halitosis.
Benefits of Low-Carb Diet and Oral Health
While halitosis can definitely be problematic, there are many ways that your oral health may benefit from restricting your carbohydrate intake. First, you will reduce your risk of tooth decay, as carbohydrates are a main source of food for disease-promoting bacteria in the mouth. When you reduce the amount of sugar, baked goods, and bread that you eat, you will dramatically reduce the amount of fuel that bacteria in your mouth have to consume. Therefore, you'll lower your tooth decay risk.
When you reduce carbohydrate consumption, you will likely add nutrient-rich foods into your diet as a way to compensate. This will allow more room in your diet for foods that are high in vitamin D and calcium. These nutrients allow for healthy teeth and gums, both of which are a necessity for good oral health.
Whenever you start a new diet or change your eating habits, it is important to make oral hygiene a priority to protect your teeth. This includes regular appointments in our office. Call us today to set up your next visit.