Posted on: 2 July 2018
Great oral health is an important part of overall health. In many cases, a ketogenic diet (or a modified ketogenic diet) can improve both. However, as with any diet, there are pros and cons. Here are some pros and cons of using a keto diet for oral health to keep your teeth healthier between dental cleanings.
Pro: great whole food nutrition
Tooth-friendly nutrition can be a great way to boost the effectiveness of your home tooth care between dental cleanings. One benefit of the keto diet for your teeth is that it focuses on consuming nutrient-dense foods and avoiding "fillers" like bread and grains. Eating a lot of leafy vegetables and healthy meats can be a great way to get the vitamins and minerals your teeth need, such as vitamins D, A, and C.
Con: easy to fall off the wagon
The keto diet isn't an easy one to follow. If there's a flaw in your planning, if you lose motivation, or if life simply gets the better of you and you get into a time crunch or a financial crunch, you're at risk of simply going back to your old diet. To avoid this, set up support structures (for example, find a friend who wants to try the diet as well, so you can encourage each other) and be sure to keep easy keto meals on hand for those days when your brainpower is all sapped.
Pro: avoids most carbs and simple sugars
While fat-soluble vitamins are great for your teeth, the things that a keto diet avoids--simple carbs and simple sugars--are also horrible for your teeth. Refined sugars are one of the most commonly cited reasons for cavities, and dental experts are forever trying to get Americans to cut down on sugar consumption. The keto diet helps you avoid these tooth-harming foods.
Exposing your mouth to lots of sugar and carbs means you may need more dental cleanings and may even develop more cavities because it encourages plaque formation. And because sugar feeds the bacteria that cause plaque buildup, which is irritating to your gums, sugar consumption can have an inflammatory effect on your mouth overall. This can lead in turn to gingivitis, which can mean that you need more aggressive dental cleanings if you want to avoid periodontitis and tooth loss.
Con: not right for everyone
While nearly everyone could benefit by increasing their consumption of fresh vegetables and healthy meats, there may be certain cases in which you shouldn't attempt the keto diet. For instance, if your body has difficulty metabolizing fat (called a fat metabolism disorder), you likely need to avoid fatty foods and eat a lot of carb-rich foods to survive.
These pros and cons show that while a keto diet isn't a one-size-fits-all solution, it can be helpful for keeping your teeth cleaner and healthier in some cases. Be sure to talk to your doctor about whether a keto diet or a modified keto diet would work well for your overall health.
For more information, contact a company like Family & Cosmetic Dentistry.Share