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Dental Care, Diabetes, and Diet

gum disease illustration  Dental Care, Diabetes, and Diet-Do you suffer from diabetes? Heart disease? Often the two diseases are linked together, along with periodontal disease (AKA gum disease). Why? When you’re diabetic, your body is in a constant state of inflammation.  This inflammation shows up in many places, including your gums. When your gums swell, they create pockets separating the tooth from the gum tissue. This creates a great place for bacteria and food to become trapped, further increasing inflammation. If this continues for a long time, teeth can actually become loose and fall out.  Diabetics are at a very high risk of periodontal disease, and as a rule, should be seen 3-4 times a year for dental hygiene visits. Increasing the frequency of dental visits, helps to decrease the time bacteria has to invade the pockets created when your gums swell, helping to decrease the inflammation process. Frequent flossing (daily) and 2-3 times a day for brushing is highly recommended. For more information on periodontal disease and prevention, click this link.

Those patients with Type 2 diabetes, can control and even eliminate their disease through dietary control. A plant-based, low-fat diet is highly recommended to decrease swelling and inflammation in the body, and has been proven to help regulate blood sugar and decrease intramyocellular lipids, fatty deposits created from animal-based foods, that lead to insulin resistance. For more on this topic, we recommend you visit Dr. Neal Barnard’s website Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine. Here’s his link on Diabetes Resources.  We also highly recommend his book,Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes: The Scientifically Proven System for Reversing Diabetes without Drugs                  


Our dental office in Williamsville, NY is committed to your overall health and wellness. We, at Altman Dental, don’t only care about your teeth. We want to educate you on preventative measures you can take for your optimal health.  We believe strongly that there is a great link between your diet and your health. We have a blog devoted to nutrient dense, plant-based recipes, entitled,  as well as an employee, Jessica, that holds a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition and is a certified plant-based chef.  Jessica can help you with meals and provide guidance on how to create a healthy meal plan.  As a diabetic, or a family member of a diabertic, we highly encourage you to eat a predominantly plant-based diet, if not a completely plant-based , and to ditch processed, refined, and fried foods. Eating whole foods will help you to feel more satisfied, while providing you with nutrients that help to fight inflammation and regulate blood sugar. High fiber foods both satiate as well as regulate your sugar levels.

Great foods to fight inflammation and diabetes:

  • All veggies
  • Most fruits; especially berries; many people with diabetes feel they need to avoid fruit. There are some fruits that are higher in sugars than others (grapes, banana, watermelon that should be limited), however, it is the animal based proteins, saturated fat, and refined sugars that lead to and exacerbate diabetes, not fruit.
  • Beans-lentils, chickpeas, black beans, white beans, kidney beans, cannellini beans, lima beans, mung beans
  • Sprouts-alfalfa, mung bean, lentil sprouts, broccoli sprouts, buckwheat sprouts, etc
  • Seeds and nuts-in moderation (don’t go too nuts with nuts, you want to limit your fat intake)
  • Whole grains: quinoa, millet, buckwheat, brown rice, wild rice, oats (all of these are also gluten free), barley, whole wheat pasta

Foods to Avoid With Diabetes:

  • Fried foods
  • Eggs
  • Dairy
  • Red meat, poultry, and fish
  • Oils; all kinds
  • Refined flours and sugars