dentist health advice

When you have diabetes, you know how important it is to control your blood sugar. But diabetes affects your entire body, making it even more important to maintain you oral health as well.

Why? Diabetes puts you at a higher risk for developing several oral health problems. And the less you control your blood sugar, the more likely you are to fall victim to these conditions. If you don’t control your diabetes, it impairs your white blood cells—and that’s your body’s main defense against bacterial infections that develop in your mouth.

It’s not only important for diabetics to maintain their oral health, it’s also important to know what conditions they’re higher risk for. We asked Dr. Richard Rosenblatt of Forest North Dental in Lake Forest, Illinois to break it down.

1. Dry mouth. When you don’t control your diabetes it can decrease your saliva flow. When you’re not producing as much saliva as you should be, that leads to dry mouth and the many symptoms that come with it, from mouth sores to a sore throat to constant thirst. And dry mouth can also lead to more serious dental health issues, including gum disease and tooth decay.

2. Gum disease. Diabetes also puts you at higher risk for developing gum disease. How? Diabetes causes blood vessels to thicken, and that slows down the flow of nutrients to and waste products from body tissues. And that, of course, includes your mouth. The problem is, this reduces your body’s ability to fight infection—and gum disease is a bacterial infection. So that means if you don’t control your diabetes, you may not only be more prone to get gum disease, it also may be more severe when you do develop it.

3. Slow healing. If you have uncontrolled diabetes, it might take your oral tissues longer to heal after surgery or other dental procedures.

4. Thrush. Never heard of thrush? It’s a fungal infection that develops on your mouth and tongue. Doesn’t sound so pleasant, right? If you have diabetes and take antibiotics to fight infections, you’re more likely to develop thrush. The fungus thrives on sugar in the saliva, so if you’re not controlling your diabetes you’re giving this fungal infection fuel to thrive.

If you have thrush, you might also experience burning in your tongue and in your mouth.
While your risk for developing gum disease and thrush are higher when you have diabetes, if you smoke as well your risk increases even more. Smoking can also increase the time it takes for your oral tissues to heal after surgery or other dental procedures.

If you’re living with diabetes, you not only must you focus on maintaining your blood sugar, you also need to take care of your oral health. Go to your regular dental checkups, and keep your dentist up-to-date on the latest with your condition. Make sure your dentist and your doctor communicate, and that your dentist knows exactly what medications you’re taking and their dosage.

It’s also important to pay attention to any changes in your oral health, and to contact your dentist right away if something seems off. Follow all home care instructions, and do your part to keep your smile bright and healthy.

Healthy eating is not so much about being picky with the food that you eat as finding a way to gradually introduce wholesome food to your diet. Without a doubt, this is one of the main notions why people dread swapping to a completely healthy diet. They immediately think that they’d have to sacrifice the not-so-healthy foods that they can’t go without. Well, this really isn’t the case with “healthy” eating, however unbelievable it sounds. Find time to read these helpful pointers and you’ll see that minding your healthy eating shouldn’t be all about deprivation and calorie calculations, but rather about boosting your overall wellness.

Healthy Eating

1.) Be aware of your food intake, not your nutrition intake.

Some health experts suggest minding any nutrition deficiency you may have and addressing it by eating more food that contains the said nutrient, etc. The problem with this kind of method is that it doesn’t provide order in your dietary pattern. The right attitude to adapt then is to mind the types of food that you take in. The key lies in simply going for wholesome foods that are known to be nutritious, besides being as natural as possible. Natural in the sense that it’s not processed, but doesn’t necessarily have to be completely organic as well.

2.) Don’t completely regulate, learn to moderate.

Research conducted on the subject has proven that completely skimming comfort food only ever leads to frustration, which then leads to messing your intended healthy diet plan. With good moderation, you would certainly be able to drastically the amount of junk food that you eat to the point that you’ll have fewer cravings for them in the future. By giving in to your cravings, you are actually choosing to make yourself happy.

Happiness brings about a great boost in your mood, allowing you to make smarter food choices afterward and greater resolve to resist further junk food temptation. With time, your cravings would be virtually non-existent and you will learn to look at junk food as nothing more than empty indulgences. That’s as simple as it gets.

3.) Cut back on sugar, if you can’t completely remove it that is.

We are well aware of the fact that sugar is bad for us yet it’s the taste of it that we simply can’t get enough of. Even if it tastes like heaven, though, especially for most of us who have a sweet tooth, it simply has to be crossed out from our diets completely. Again, the key to avoiding sugar lies in gradually reducing the intake of it. Don’t drink sugary drinks, and reduce the sugar that commonly makes up your regular diet. Eat fruits or go for naturally prepared peanut butter to satisfy your sweet tooth. Lastly, be extra careful of the sugar in foods that you order when eating out.

4.) Make sure to get a heady mix of fruits and vegetables of different colors.

Don’t just settle for one kind of fruit or vegetable, go for anything that it’s available to you! From greens like spinach, broccoli, kale, avocado, and green apples to reds like bell pepper, radishes, tomatoes, and red grapes, it’s all about introducing a rainbow of fruits and vegetables to your diet. Keep in mind that the deeper the color of the fruit and vegetable is, the more it’s packed with essential nutrients. Also, eating vegetables that are naturally sweet is also very effective way to handle the demands of your sweet tooth. Good examples of these are corn and sweet potatoes.

5.) Fiber is one nutrient that you should never go without.

Dietary fiber goes a long way in maintaining the way your body should function. The fact that stocking up on fiber shields you from chronic diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes is proof enough of this. Of course, you can only ever find loads of fiber from whole grain food as well as other natural, unprocessed food. Fiber helps stimulate that feeling of fullness, allowing you to stave off hunger and unhealthy snacking for optimum hours.

As you can see, the key to consistent healthy eating lies in the gradual introduction of healthier alternatives to your diet. It’s never a smart move to immediately go all the way when it comes to eating healthy. What’s good about small changes over time is that it almost always ends up being a long-term activity. Like any habit, you get used to it, making it hard for you to depart from it as time goes by.