By Susan Braden
Discount dental visits could do more than keep your teeth clean. They could also warn of a high-glycemic (high GI) carbohydrate diet, which could possibly lead to certain chronic diseases like cancer or Alzheimer’s, according to researcher Philippe Hujoel, a professor at the University of Washington.
High GI foods can cause the body’s blood sugar levels to be abnormal and slightly out of control. This type of diet is often associated with a higher risk of diabetes and liver disease. This can also produce oral health problems, because sticky sugar in the mouth traps bacteria and may eventually cause tooth decay. Plaque buildup can calcify into hard tartar in the crevices of the teeth and under the gums. Bacteria in those areas creates an acid reaction, which eats away at the tooth.
A discount checkup with a dentist can potentially alert you of a high GI diet by watching for oral health problems. If you take care of your teeth by brushing and flossing regularly but continue to suffer from tooth decay or gum disease, a high-glycemic carbohydrate diet could be the source.
The glycemic index measures how carbohydrates affect the body’s blood sugar. High GI carbohydrates break down quickly and add glucose to the blood stream rapidly. Those that break down and add glucose slowly and steadily have a low GI.
Some foods with a low GI include:
Some foods with a high GI include:
If you check your teeth regularly with a dentist who offers a discount, he or she may be able to alert you to a possibly high GI diet. Taking care of this problem by treating cavities and altering your diet could help prevent more serious diseases like cancer or diabetes. Discount dental work can help improve the health of your entire body, not just your mouth.