Can Keto, Intermittent Fasting, or Other Diet Trends Hurt My Teeth?
At Platinum Dental Care, we care as much about the effects on your teeth as we care about the effects on your waistline. Here’s what we know about how keto, intermittent fasting, and other current trends affect our patients’ teeth.
The keto or ketogenic diet is a high-fat, moderate-protein, and low-carb eating style. Similar in message to the Atkins diet, South Beach diet, and the Ideal Protein diet, keto differentiates itself by claiming that a ketogenic diet is a high-fat diet above all (rather than “low carb” or “high protein”).
This diet plan relies on the idea that when the majority of our calories come from fats and protein and consumption of carbohydrates is limited, our bodies enter a state of “ketosis” where the body is forced to burn our fat stores (love handles, batwings, double chins, thunder thighs) for energy rather than sugar stores from the day’s sugar intake.
Fans of the keto diet love the increased energy and lack of hunger.
Does the Keto Diet Affect Your Teeth?
Whether it be a blessing or curse of the Keto diet, experienced dieters recognize “nail polish remover breath” as an unavoidable side-effect of entering ketosis. A product of the chemical processes involved in ketosis, breath that smells like nail polish remover is a clear indication that your body is in the elusive fat-burning state.
Aside from the stinky breath that accompanies ketosis, the keto diet is one of the best diets for avoiding tooth decay and maintaining excellent oral health.
The same carbohydrates that discourage your body from burning its own fat for energy are also the cause of tooth decay and contributors to gum disease. Looking to lose weight and reduce your risk of gum disease and tooth decay? Keto can help, but it’s not a substitute for good oral hygiene.
How to Reduce Nail Polish Remover Breath
There are a few things you can do to reduce keto breath. You can:
- Regularly brush your teeth and rinse with a minty mouthwash
- Drink more water
- Chew sugarless gum
We also recommend visiting your dentist regularly for your six-month checkups to make sure your teeth are staying healthy.
Read More: 3 Tricks to Keep Your Breath Fresh On the Go
Intermittent Fasting (IF)
Rather than focusing on what you eat, the IF diet focuses on when you eat. Intermittent fasters concentrate their food intake within a four, six, or eight-hour window and avoid food or drink (aside from water or black coffee) for the remaining 20, 18, or 16 hours of the day.
While the jury is still out on the overall effect of fasting on the body, preliminary publications on the concepts behind and effects of IF are positive.
Does Intermittent Fasting Affect Your Teeth?
While low-carb diets like Keto are relatively well-understood by dentists and doctors, the effects of IF on your teeth are still unstudied. Most dentists agree, however, that less exposure to food throughout the day in the form of snacking, meals, and dessert is good for your teeth. Small-scale studies have shown that the relationship between fasting and oral health is generally positive.
The effects of IF are considered positive only in a situation where the dieter is eating a relatively balanced diet in their eating window. Binging on high-sugar or otherwise unhealthy foods in that short window can still have negative effects regardless of the make-up fast afterward.
If you maintain balance by eating the right foods or supplementing your diet with the micro nutrients necessary for good oral health (like calcium and Vitamins A, D, and K) your teeth will experience no ill side-effects as a result of IF.
One of the most difficult parts of living a vegan or entirely plant-based diet is balance. Many Vegans tout the weight loss and overall health benefits of ditching meats, cheeses, and other animal byproducts. Without supplements or extreme precision when meal planning, essential micronutrients can be lost in a vegan diet. A perfectly balanced vegan diet, however, can help you achieve some incredible health benefits.
Does Veganism Negatively Affect Your Teeth?
With proper substitutes and supplements veganism is a sustainable diet, and no adverse oral-health concerns have been associated with the diet. Vegans do not experience a higher or lower occurrence of tooth decay, but some vegans show greater signs of acid erosion on the surface of their teeth.
This higher risk for weakened enamel is caused by the loss of calcium from milk, yogurt, and cheese. Without calcium the body has a hard time retaining Vitamins D, A, and K, which are necessary micronutrients for healthy teeth. Luckily, this side-effect of veganism can be easily thwarted through proper supplementation.
Keep your vegan teeth happy by supplementing your vegan diet with the necessary nutrients for a healthy smile. Vitamins A, D, and K and calcium are essential, but talk to your dentist about his or her specific recommendations.
On a positive note, studies suggest that a vegan diet may reduce your risk for oral cancer. If you are considering a vegan lifestyle we recommend that you remember your vitamins and get a dental cleaning and check-up every 6 months!
Get Real Insight From Your Dentist
If you are considering a change in your diet, ask your dentist about the potential oral health implications. You should also visit your general practitioner before making any major change in your diet and lifestyle. We wish you the best in all of your healthy lifestyle endeavors.