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Is a Low-Carb Diet Good for Your Teeth?

From Atkins to Paleo, Ketogenic to South Beach, many of the most popular and effective diets have one thing in common – they allow little to no carbohydrates. Carbs are in many foods, but they’re most prevalent in grains, breads, and sugars. While cutting grains from your diet will yield results in terms of weight loss, there is another significant advantage as well: it’s excellent for your smile.

What Counts as Carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients that are inherent in many of the foods we eat. The traditional role of carbohydrates is to supply energy for the body, but anyone who has followed keto knows that your body can be trained to burn fats instead. Ultimately, all bread, pastries, grains including rice, and all forms of sugar are the foods people avoid to reap the benefits of a low-carb diet.

How A Low-Carb Diet Prevents Cavities

Even people with the most rudimentary dental knowledge know that the primary cause of cavities is sugar. It’s an interesting and important fact that all refined, starchy carbohydrates break down to sugars when you eat them.

Once broken down into their fundamental sugars, they behave as sugars do in your mouth – sticking to your teeth, attracting plaque and bacteria, and gathering into a biofilm. The reality is that even your favorite wheat breads that may seem harmless are still coating your teeth in cavity-causing sugar with every bite. When you realize this, it’s easy to see why a diet that avoids bread products would be excellent for your oral health.

A Low-Carb Diet Reduces Phytic Acid

Phytic acid is mostly found in grain-based foods, but it’s present in many others. While it has various properties, it’s best known for its ability to prevent the body from absorbing minerals.

The Importance of Minerals

Minerals are often overlooked, but they’re absolutely vital to your health. They affect everything from your hair to your organs, and your teeth need minerals like calcium and phosphorus to remain strong and healthy. When phytic acid is frequently consumed as part of a grain-heavy diet, it deprives the teeth and the rest of the body of these crucial nutrients.

Cut Out Grains and Reduce Your Chances of Gingivitis

As far back as the 1920’s, researchers have known that civilizations that don’t regularly consume grains and cereals have much better oral health.

Ample research is available to show that a low-carb diet reduces the chance of dental caries and gum disease. When you eat a lot of sugars in the form of breads, they tend to stick to your teeth, forming a biofilm. When bacteria adheres to your gum line, it creates pockets where gum disease can develop and spread. In addition to decreasing sugar consumption, research shows that a low-carb diet greatly inhibits inflammation in the gums.

Reduce Sugar and Carbs for a Healthier Smile

We all love our breads, grains, and pastries, but the research doesn’t lie. If you want to improve the health of your smile, a diet low in carbohydrates is definitely the way to go. Whether it’s for the reduction in sugar, the decrease in phytic acid, or other reasons, the link between excess carbohydrates and dental problems is undeniable.