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Keto Diet and Dental Health

If you’re pursuing the ketogenic diet—characterized by very low carbohydrates, moderate protein, and high fat—you’re probably hoping to lose weight quickly. While this is one outcome of the keto diet, it also has some interesting effects on your dental health. Consider the positive and not-so-positive outcomes of the keto diet as it relates to your teeth, gums, and breath.


While the keystone of keto is to greatly restrict your carbohydrate intake, this diet also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins C and D, fiber, and antioxidants. In a 2016 study, keto was shown to decrease all gingival and periodontal inflammatory parameters by 50 percent. As a result, the keto diet could be useful for preventing or treating inflammation associated with gum disease.


One unwanted side effect of the keto diet is unpleasantly fruit-scented breath. This happens because, when you drastically reduce your carb intake, your body enters a state called ketosis. In this state, your body burns stored fat and produces ketones, which the body uses as fuel in the absence of carbs.

One undesirable effect of this is called “keto breath.” While totally harmless, having bad breath can make you feel self-conscious. Follow these tips to alleviate keto breath while following your diet.

Drink More Water

Dehydration is a common symptom of the keto diet, especially at the beginning when your body is shifting from using carbs for energy to turning fat stores into energy. Dehydration, in turn, leads to dry mouth, which sets the stage for keto breath. That’s why the first secret to banishing this side effect is to drink more water.

Increase Your Oral Hygiene Efforts

If you notice a bad taste in your mouth, or your loved ones pull away in response to your keto breath, combat these symptoms by improving your oral hygiene. Here’s what we suggest:

  • Brush after every meal and snack.
  • Floss daily.
  • Rinse with alcohol-free mouthwash to kill germs without drying out your mouth.

Watch Your Protein Intake

The keto diet calls for eating more protein, but don’t overdo it. Your body produces ammonia when it digests protein, and if you eat too much of it, the strong scent could be detectable on your breath.

Keep Mints on Hand

When all else fails, mask your keto breath with sugar-free mints. This temporary solution can help you feel more confident at social events and business meetings.

Keto isn’t the only cause of bad breath. If you try these tips but can’t seem to overcome your symptoms, visiting the dentist might help. Professional teeth cleaning can remove plaque and bacteria contributing to halitosis, or chronic bad breath. You can also receive more personalized tips from your dentist about how to prevent and treat bad breath.

To schedule your next appointment, please contact Glenwood Premier Dental at (732) 497-3265. Our dentist in Hazlet would be happy to offer tips to help freshen your breath!