10 Teeth-healthy Foods People With Diabetes Can Eat Guilt-Free

According to the American Diabetes Association, there are 1.5 million American who are diagnosed with diabetes annually.

As of 2015, people with diabetes in the United States have reached 30.3 million which is 9.4 percent of the country’s total population. It is also the seventh leading causes of death among Americans.

Also referred to as diabetes mellitus, diabetes is considered a metabolic disorder which is typified by overly high blood sugar or blood glucose. Diabetes can be either be Type 1, Type 2, or gestational diabetes.

 

How does Diabetes Affect the Oral health?

The metabolic disorder can affect the nerves, heart, kidney, eyes, and other parts of the body including the oral cavity. People with diabetes are at special risk for gum disease because they are more prone to bacterial infection and have decreased the ability to fight bacteria.

Aside from periodontal diseases, people with diabetes can have dry mouth where saliva production is insufficient. Thrush, a fungal infection, can also appear on people with diabetes because of dry mouth and high glucose level in the saliva. Oral wounds can also heal slowly as the blood has limited mobility, especially in uncontrolled diabetes.

Since people with diabetes can suffer complications due to the disorder, a strict diet and limited sugar consumption are advised to keep blood sugar under control.

Still, there are good foods people with diabetes can eat without worrying about consuming too much sugar. These foods are also healthy and can provide additional nutrition to strengthen the body’s immunity.

  • Apple. Research suggests that people who eat five or more apples a week can lower the development of Type 2 diabetes by 23 percent. Apple is also beneficial in keeping the teeth healthy as it stimulates saliva production and contains vitamins A and C which contribute to gum health.
  • Asparagus. Low in carbs, calories, and rich in dietary fiber, asparagus is a healthy vegetable to accompany your lunch or dinner. It contains glutathione which is an antioxidant that aids in easing aging and disease like diabetes.
  • Avocado. The high monounsaturated fat content of avocado can improve cholesterol levels, decrease the likelihood of heart disease, and lower the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
  • Beans. According to a study, a cup of legumes every day can improve blood sugar control and decrease blood pressure level.
  • Blueberries. Blueberries have high fiber content which can reduce the likelihood of diabetes and aid in keeping the blood sugar stable.
  • Broccoli. This non-starchy green vegetable is filled with vitamin C, folate, fiber, and antioxidant beta-carotene. It also has iron which creates an acid-resistant layer on the teeth.
  • Carrot. Aside from being high in vitamin A, carrots also reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes especially among people who have a genetic susceptibility to developing the metabolic disorder. Carrots, like apple, also stimulate saliva production.
  • Cranberries. Cranberries are rich in phytonutrients like anthocyanins.
  • Fish. Fill your plate with seafood like fish as an alternative to other meats like beef or pork as it has lower unhealthy saturated fat and cholesterol. Plus, fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids.

Flaxseed. Including flaxseed in your diet can lower blood glucose levels, triglycerides, cholesterol, and LDL. It also reduced the hemoglobin A1C in people with Type 2 diabetes.

The State of Hawaii Dental Health (2011-2015)

In 2011, Hawaii received an F grade in The Pew Charitable Trusts’ fact sheet on the state of
children’s dental health. It only met one of the eight policy benchmarks stipulated by the non-
governmental organization on the improvement of children’s dental health.

It was the worst overall performer in the country and the District of Columbia because of its
disuse of proven preventive strategies like a school sealant program and water fluoridation.

In 2013, the Aloha State saw improvements in the number of dental visits of children with
Medicaid coverage at 57 percent, nine percent higher than the national estimates. However,
Hawaii suffered a decline in the dental visits of children with private dental benefits coverage,
only garnering 48 percent which is two percent lower than the 2005 figure and 16 percent lower
than the national estimates.

The figures are much alarming in Hawaii adults with private dental benefits coverage which is
only at 41 percent. This number is lower by five percent than 2005 and 17 percent lower than the
national estimates.

Still, Hawaii has a higher number of dentists per 100,000 population with 75.2 percent compared
to the 60.5 percent nationally in 2013.

The percentage of Medicaid children who received a sealant on a permanent molar in 2013 is
also lower compared to the 14 percent nationally. Hawaii has only ten percent of its children
ages six to 14 who received a sealant.

The Aloha State has the smallest percentage of the population on community water fluoridation
system in 2012 with only 11 percent.

In 2012, more than 3,000 emergency room visits were reported due to avertible dental problems
which are higher by 67 percent from 2006 and a 22 percent increase from the national figures.
The Hawaii State Department of Health reported in its Hawaii Oral Health: Key Findings in
2015 that the state lacked an ongoing and routine system for the assessment of its residents’ oral
health. It also does not have a public health program.

There are also substantial dental health disparities in Hawaii with low-income members of the
population are more probable in having dental problems and less probably in seeing a dentist
annually.

Twelve percent of low-income adults also described their mouth and teeth to be in poor
condition. Moreover, 37 percent of low-income adults said the appearance of their mouth and
teeth affects their ability to interview for a job.

The State Department of Health of Hawaii recognized the need to acquire and employ an oral
health surveillance system for high-quality and specific data on public health action and program
evaluation.

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