How Different Types of Diets Can Affect Your Oral Health
- March 11, 2021
- 5 mins read
Most people get into diets to start their journey on healthy weight loss this year. Some people go with a conventional well-balanced diet coupled with some standard exercise. Others may resort to trying out the fad diets that promise results and seem to come with their own set of perks. No matter which diet you choose to follow, all of it directly affects your oral health. Anything and everything you put into your mouth can affect the health of your teeth and gums.
While staying on a diet can be transformative and enlightening regarding the way you eat, it is still essential to think of the food items that can destroy your teeth if you don’t care for them. Check out some of the most popular food and health-related diet regimens and their effects on oral health.
Keto and Oral Health
The ketogenic diet, or keto diet, is one of the most popular diets known for producing fast results with its unconventional meal plan from the balanced diet regimen. This diet aims to get the body into a constant metabolic state of ketosis, which is when the body burns fat. For this to happen, you should give up carbohydrates and sugar to build up protein and fats. Food like meats and vegetables are the constant in this diet plan, except for some fruits. A modified version of the keto diet is the low carb diet, which allows limited carb intake.
When it comes to oral health, the keto diet has its perks. The lack of carbohydrate consumption lessens plaque buildup, which keeps the outer layer of the teeth healthy and clean. Sugar is also limited in this diet, which reduces the risk of cavities.
The downside is that less carb and fruit intake will reduce certain vitamins and minerals that the body and mouth need. The keto diet restricts some fruits with high sugar content, such as oranges, which contain vitamin C, which is essential to prevent oral diseases such as scurvy. People on a keto diet have also reported bad breath as a side effect, popularly known as “keto breath.”
High Carb Diet and Oral Health
The high-carb diet is the polar opposite of the keto diet. As the name implies, it involves consuming more carbohydrates than fats and proteins. Some studies have shown that it could help reduce body fat and aid in stabilizing insulin levels. The Keto diet advocates choosing the right type of carbohydrates such as grains and fruits rich in fiber.
The downside to too much carbohydrate intake is it creates an acidic environment in your mouth. When teeth munch down on carbs, bacteria lingers in the mouth, which creates acid buildup. Too much of this acid affects enamel, the outer layer of teeth that protects it from oral cavities.
Plant-Based Diets and Oral Health
Vegetarian diets are popular among non-meat lovers to reduce animal farming. Veganism includes a plant-based diet that, unlike vegetarianism, restricts the consumption of any animal product, including dairy. While the initiative is thoughtful and can certainly start a movement with a good cause, plant-based diets are known to be one of the most difficult diets to start and maintain.
The benefits of it linked to oral health are linked to the nutrients and vitamins one gets from eating these foods. Going plant-based can prevent diseases such as gingivitis.
Your oral health will take a hit with this type of diet. Vegans and vegetarians are at higher risk of dental erosion and are more likely to suffer from tooth decay. Part of the reason is the diet itself, while some can be attributed to oral hygiene.
Some vegans are known to use “homemade” items to avoid buying commercial products, including toothpaste. Toothpaste formulas cannot simply be replaced like shampoos or soap. They contain properties that not only keep your breath fresh but also protect your teeth and mouth. Substitutes may not include the same formulas.
Findings have also shown that people with this diet lack saliva production compared to people who eat more conventional diets. This could explain why they have more acidic pH levels in their mouth.
Intermittent Fasting and Oral Health
Intermittent Fasting, or IF, is not so much of a diet but rather a food practice where people set several hours for eating and fasting. Since it doesn’t really have a strict food preference, how it affects dental health can vary depending on what you choose to consume during eating periods. However, fasts can potentially lead to dehydration, which can cause bad breath and tooth decay.
Liquid diets aren’t as popular as they once were, although a few people still practice them to lose weight quickly. In terms of oral health, juices often have sugar, which turns into acid. This can lead to tooth erosion and cavities.
If you are comfortable with the diet you have started, stick with it as long as it benefits you. There are ways to prevent the bad side effects of the diet of your choice. Whether it’s finding the sources of vitamins you lack in other food sources or adding a few items to what’s acceptable for consumption, you can make an effort to improve your diet for your oral health. No matter what you choose to eat, it is still essential for you to practice good oral hygiene practices such as brushing and flossing regularly.
Get a Dental Checkup with your Dentist
If you feel like your oral health is suffering because of your diet, get a checkup at Kyrene Family Dentistry. We run a family-friendly dental clinic in Chandler, Arizona, with services that range from cosmetic fixes to dental conditions. Schedule an appointment with us today to receive a thorough oral check-up to see how your diet affects your dental health.