Serving Brentwood, Belle Meade and Green Hills Areas of Nashville TN
What does the start of a new year mean for you? Many people take on a new initiative to get healthier once the calendar turns from December to January. And, while the health, diet, and fitness industries all have endured their share of crazes or fads, one approach that appears to have stuck for good is the paleo diet.
If you are familiar with fitness, you probably have heard about this diet. Paleo, in this instance, stands for Paleolithic—meaning that someone that adheres to the paleo diet only eats foods that scientists believe were accessible to our ancestors thousands of years ago. This means eating a diet that, in general, consists of meat, nuts, fresh produce, and roots. Paleo followers avoid flour- and grain-based foods, as well as dairy, and sugary snacks such as candy.
The low-carb intake of a paleo diet, in combination with the high amounts of protein, encourages losing fat and gaining muscle. It also has been popular among athletes for the past several years. Some of the most famous devotees of the paleo lifestyle include NBA stars such as LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.
The paleo diet comes with some risks, however, especially when it pertains to your oral health. Specifically, a paleo diet can lead to nasty smelling breath.
Why does this happen? The two most recognizable odors of bad breath stem from the presence of volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs); eating a diet that is high in protein encourages the manufacturing of these compounds, thus leading to pronounced cases of halitosis (bad breath).
If you follow the paleo diet or you are considering adopting this diet heading into the New Year, then you can take certain measures to curtail the bad breath that often results from eating this way. Make sure to maintain a thorough regimen of oral hygiene that includes brushing twice per day and flossing daily. You also should consider using a tongue scraper. Scraping your tongue minimizes the accumulation of plaque and bacteria in your mouth, two additional factors that can cause halitosis. And continue visiting your dentist at least twice per year for a thorough cleaning, as well as an examination of your oral health.
Bad breath does not just have an impact on you during social situations. The same things that fuel bad breath—bacteria and plaque—also are key contributing factors to gum disease. A patient with gum disease that goes undiagnosed or untreated has a serious risk of other, more serious health issues, including tooth loss, bone loss, and even cardiac disease, when bacteria from the infected gums and teeth enters the bloodstream and travels to the heart.
If your gums are puffy, red, or bleed easily, you already have the earliest stage of gum disease, known as gingivitis. Contact your dentist as soon as possible to stop gum disease in its tracks before there is permanent damage done. And if you are currently following, or wish to follow, the paleo diet, consider the tips listed above to keep your breath fresh and maintain your oral health.
For more information about protecting your oral health, please call Devine Dentistry at (615) 269-4209 to schedule an appointment. We welcome patients of Belle Meade, Green Hills, and Nashville, Tennessee.