Diabetic Diet Tips: Keeping Your Teeth Healthy
Diabetes affects so many parts of one’s body and health. What many don’t consider, however, is how the fluctuating glucose levels may impact their teeth and gums. Statistically, those with diabetes have been more frequently seen to suffer from gum disease and other oral infections than those without diabetes. With an increased chance of periodontal (gum) disease, it is more important than ever for people with diabetes to look after their oral health, and it starts with the diet. Here are some tips to maintaining a healthy diet while watching out for your teeth and gums:
1. Sugars and starches
You’ve probably already heard this one before, but really try your best to reduce sugars and starches from your diet. In the mouth, their residue increases bacterial activity, which releases damaging acids that eat away at your teeth’s enamel.
2. Eat healthy carbohydrates
Because you want to consume as few starches and sugars as possible, it is important to make your carbs count. Stick to healthy carbohydrates such as fruits and low fat dairy products.
Many fruits have natural sugars in them, such as apples and bananas. Eating one will often ease a sweet tooth craving, and it’s much healthier overall.
4. Low fat dairy products
It is common knowledge that dairy product has calcium in it. Calcium is such an important mineral for the teeth. Consuming dairy products and giving the teeth exposure to calcium does wonders to reinforce enamel and strengthen the bones.
6. Have a sweet tooth?
If you are craving something that happens to have a high sugar content, you can consider swapping it for another carbohydrate that you were going to eat instead. This way, your daily carbohydrate intake stays the same. (Practice moderation with this, though)
They are disastrously acidic and sugary. If you do drink a soda, drink water afterwards to rinse down the acidic residues that eat away at your enamel.
Nutrition and portion management are the key to controlling glucose levels. When the blood glucose levels in the body are too high, it impacts the composition of the saliva. Saliva is the body’s natural cleaning and repairing mechanism; it washes away food particles and repairs enamel that is damaged by bacterial acids or simply chewing. However, when blood glucose levels are increased, there is an increase of glucose in the saliva, which encourages bacterial activity. As a result, the saliva becomes less effective, leading to an increased chance of tooth decay and gum infection.
Although it is true that those that live with diabetes face a higher likelihood of gum disease and infection, you are still ultimately in control of your own future. No one can tell you that disease is inevitable; if you make your own diligent efforts to take care of your body, teeth included, staying in good health is a very achievable goal.
Author byline: Olivia Lin writes for Tadros Dental, and they share the belief that sharing and spreading knowledge about oral health is essential to bettering the world, one smile at a time. Oral health is commonly taken for granted (until it is too late), and for the diabetic community, awareness of their risks and options is highly important and relevant. Tadros Dental is based in Houston, Texas and provides expert restorative, orthodontic, cosmetic, and general dentistry services.