Diabetes and Dental Decay

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There is an interesting connection between diabetes and dental decay. In response to brain signals, your body releases insulin, which is critical to many body functions and overall health. We know that a diet high in refined carbohydrates (let’s just say junk food) can disrupt your insulin metabolism (causing diabetes). As recently reported in the journal General Dentistry (Sept/Oct 2011), your major salivary glands also produce a similar hormone (parotid hormone), which regulates the metabolism inside your teeth. And the same high sugar diet also disrupts the parotid hormone and makes your teeth more likely to form cavities. This disruptive effect seems to be especially problematic for children with developing teeth, permanently weakening the layers within the tooth. Take home message: a diet with less junk and more antioxidant rich foods (fruits and veggies) will help prevent/control both diabetes and dental decay…and this is especially critical for children.