If you're one of the 34 million Americans with diabetes, you're probably aware that the disease can cause problems with your eyes, nerves, kidneys, heart and other parts of your body.
What you may not know is that people with diabetes are more susceptible to developing oral infections and gum (periodontal) disease than those who do not have diabetes. Diet is one of the most crucial elements for maintaining a healthy mouth if you have diabetes.
Your teeth are covered with plaque, a sticky film of bacteria. After you have a meal, snack or beverage that contains sugars or starches, the bacteria release acids that attack tooth enamel. Repeated attacks can cause the enamel to break down and may eventually result in cavities.
When diabetes isn't controlled properly, high glucose levels in saliva can help the bacteria and plaque to thrive. Plaque that's not removed can eventually harden into tartar.
When tartar collects on your teeth, it makes a thorough cleaning of your teeth much more difficult. This can create conditions that lead to chronic inflammation and infection in the mouth. Diabetes lowers your resistance to infection and can slow the healing process.
Managing blood sugar is the key to managing diabetes, and eating well is the key to controlling your blood sugar. To maintain a healthy diet with diabetes, focus on eliminating sugars and starches and including the following foods:
Delta Dental's diabetic-friendly recipes are a great resource if you're managing diabetes and trying to eat healthier. You'll find tasty ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner, including:
Last updated April 04, 2022
The oral health information on this website is intended for educational purposes only. Always consult a licensed dentist or other qualified health care professional for any questions concerning your oral health.