Everyone knows that what they eat can affect their physical health, but it can also affect their oral health. That’s right – the foods you consume can cause tooth decay and gum disease and increase your risk of developing diabetes. Here’s what you need to know about diabetes and oral health.
Diabetes and Oral Health
Certain foods contain high levels of sugar, which interact with the bacteria in your mouth to form acids. These acids then break down your tooth enamel, leading to cavities. Other foods are high in starch, which also turns into sugar when it comes into contact with your saliva. Sticky foods like candies are particularly problematic because they stick to your teeth, giving the bacteria more time to work their magic. And then there are acidic foods, which can permanently damage your tooth enamel if you consume them regularly.
Poor oral health due to consuming these kinds of food can lead to the loss of teeth. This would then require cheap and affordable dental implants to fix. These implants are made of titanium and are placed into the jawbone to replace the tooth root. A dental prosthetic is then attached to the implant, which takes the place of the original tooth. Although this is an excellent option in dealing with tooth loss, it’s always good if you prevent it from happening in the first place.
Reducing sugary, starchy, and acidic foods is an excellent way to protect your teeth and gums. It can even reduce the chances of diabetes! But it’s not the only way. Here are five diets that have been shown to help reduce the risk of cavities and diabetes:
The Paleo Diet
Also known as the “caveman” or “stone age” diet, this eating plan focuses on consuming the same types of foods that our ancestors ate during the Paleolithic era. That means lots of lean meats, fruits, vegetables, and nuts – and no processed foods or added sugars. You can start this kind of diet by simply eliminating all processed foods from your diet and replacing them with whole, unprocessed foods.
The Mediterranean Diet
This diet is based on the traditional eating habits of people in Greece, Italy, Spain, and other Mediterranean countries. It’s heavy on olive oil, fish, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains – and light on red meat and dairy products.
If you want this kind of diet to work, then you need to stock your fridge with all sorts of fish. Tuna and salmon are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce the risk of cavities. You could also try sardines, mackerel, and trout. As for vegetables, aim for at least five servings a day. Some good options include spinach, broccoli, kale, and carrots.
The DASH Diet
Developed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), this diet is designed to help lower blood pressure without medication. It includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, poultry, fish, and legumes – and limits sodium intake to 2,300 mg daily.
The DASH diet is all about vegetables. Your best options include spinach, broccoli, kale, carrots, and sweet potatoes. As for fruits, try to consume at least four servings a day. Good choices include apples, bananas, oranges, and strawberries. And don’t forget the low-fat dairy! Milk, yogurt, and cheese are all great sources of calcium, which is essential for healthy teeth and bones.
The Atkins Diet
This low-carbohydrate diet was originally developed as a treatment for epilepsy but is now often used as a weight loss tool. It allows for unlimited amounts of protein and fat while severely limiting carbohydrates – typically to no more than 20 grams per day during the induction phase.
The Keto Diet
Another low-carbohydrate diet (although not as restrictive as Atkins), the keto diet puts your body into a state of ketosis by forcing it to burn fat for energy instead of glucose from carbohydrates. To achieve this state of ketosis, most people consume about 70% of their calories from fat (25% from protein and only 5% from carbs).
There are many different diets out there – so how do you know which one is right for you? If you’re looking for an eating plan that will also protect your oral health (and reduce your risk of developing diabetes), any one of these five diets would be a good choice. Talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian before making any major changes to your diet – they can help you figure out which plan is best for you based on your individual needs and preferences.