Faculty Advisor(s)

Courtney E. Vannah



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This research poster addresses the question: How does the ketogenic diet affect the oral cavity? Ketogenic ‘keto’ diet emphasizes high fat, low carbohydrate consumption and avoids simple carbohydrate and sugars. Sugar substitutes are almost always utilized. Fat heavy diets causes the body to go into ketosis: a process in which the body burns fat for energy because glucose isn’t available. The keto diet has many positive effects for the body, including several specific to the oral cavity: Decreased caries risk, gingival inflammation, and bleeding; reduction of acidity and plaque mutans when paired with the keto approved sugar substitute: erythritol. The keto diet also can cause ‘keto breath’ an overly sweet, fruit-scented breath.

Low carb, high protein and fat diets, such as the keto diet, have had a recent resurgence in popularity. Given the numerous beneficial effects on the oral cavity, it is important for dental hygienists know them and be able to educate patients using the keto diet: Reduce caries risk by decreasing amount of sugary nutrients bacteria feed upon; reduce gingival inflammation and bleeding without a change in oral hygiene performance; Erythritol should be the sugar substitute of choice when on the Keto diet due to its association with reduction of acidity in the oral cavity and reduction of plaque.

Publication Date



Dental Hygiene

The Ketogenic Diet: The Effects You’d Yeast Expect



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