5 Foods That Can Help Your Diabetes and Your Mouth (Continued)

Green Tea
While green tea will not require you to chew, it will help in other ways. It can help reduce bad breath for an hour or two. Green tea has also been shown to reduce gum inflammation and can kill bacteria that cause decay (as long as you don't add sugar). Green tea lowers acidity, which is another reason it helps prevent cavities.

Green tea has powerful antioxidants that help fight cancers as well. A University of Texas study found that green tea slowed the progress of oral cancer. Green tea has been shown to fight obesity and to lower cholesterol, two significant risk factors for diabetes. It also improves blood circulation, just like blueberries and pomegranates.

Green tea will stain your teeth, though not as much or as quickly as black tea. So if you want to enjoy green tea without affecting your white smile, it is best to remove as much plaque as frequently as possible (brush and floss). That's good advice anyway.

Low-Fat Yogurt
Everyone knows that you need calcium for healthy teeth and bones. One cup of yogurt has 300 mg of calcium and many brands add vitamin D to help the absorption and use of calcium.

"Live" cultures in yogurt also act as a "probiotic," helping put good bacteria into the digestive system. This includes the mouth. Studies show that low-fat, sugar-free yogurts have a positive effect on the dental biofilm, reducing decay and promoting healthy gums.

Yogurt is also a great source of protein, vitamins, and some minerals that are also important for healthy gums. Yogurt has also been shown to improve "T" cell function, which helps the body fight inflammation (gum disease).

Suggestion: Try low-fat, plain yogurt, add your own fresh fruit (like berries), and sprinkle some flax seed on it for some fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, which also help fight inflammation.

There's so much more to cover, so I hope I got you thinking about how what you eat is affecting your diabetes and your mouth. Fighting inflammation, chewing properly, and controlling acid are the goals. Food is our fuel. It can also be our medicine.

To your health,
Michael

P.S. I love helping people and am here to answer your questions about diabetes and your mouth.   Just email me at: askdrgoldberg@dlife.com.

Dr. Michael J Goldberg is the former Director of Columbia Presbyterian Hospital's General Practice Residency Program and a principal in Manhattan Dental Health. He is the author of "What The Tooth Fairy Didn't Tell You" (Barber, Cosby).

 

Read Dr. Michael Goldberg's bio.

Read more of Dr. Goldberg's columns.

NOTE: The information is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to diabetes or another medical condition. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your medical condition.

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Last Modified Date: December 04, 2013

All content on dLife.com is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

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