Many people are turning to low-carb diets to lose weight. However, they may not consider the effects of the diet on their oral health.
Low-carb diets can actually be quite beneficial to the health of your teeth and gums. The diets restrict your consumption of sugar, which is the primary food source of many harmful oral bacteria. The bacteria consume the sugar and release acidic waste that dissolves the tooth enamel to cause decay.
Although a low-carb diet may have its benefits, it can also cause bad breath. The ketones that the body produces on a low-carb diet after exhausting glycogen stores cause the breath to take on an acetone-like smell. This odor, when mixed with the smells emitted by oral bacteria, results in halitosis.
Here are a few ways to help prevent bad breath while low-carb dieting.
Carbohydrate-restrictive diets don't restrict the amount of water that you can consume. Thus, there is no reason to become dehydrated. Low-carb diets also tend to cause your body to shed excess water weight quickly.
When your body does become dehydrated, you produce less saliva and may develop dry mouth. Without a sufficient supply of saliva in the mouth to help rinse away excessive accumulations of bacteria, the breath can become particularly malodorous. Copious amounts of water can help rinse away bacteria and keep your mouth hydrated.
Maintain Your Brushing and Flossing Regimen
When you brush and floss, you remove dental plaque that contains large numbers of oral bacteria. Additionally, you remove particles of food that may be caught between your teeth.
When bits of food start to rot in the mouth, this intensifies the odors of bad breath. Keeping your mouth clean helps keep your breath fresher.
Chew Sugar-free Gum
Sugar-free gum typically contains sugar alternatives that do not have a significant impact on your blood sugar levels. Thus, many low-carb diets allow the participants to regularly chew sugarless gum.
The flavor of the gum helps to fragrance the breath. In addition, the act of chewing incites the production of saliva. The stickiness of the gum may also help keep the mouth cleaner by mechanically removing debris.
Some sugarless gum even contains antimicrobial ingredients, such as xylitol and cinnamaldehydes, to help reduce the number of smelly microbes in the mouth.
For more tips to improve the smell of the breath while dieting, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.