Impaired Chewing Linked to Higher Blood Glucose Levels

We make it a priority to stay on top of the growing amount of research regarding the relationship between our oral (mouth) and systemic (of the body) health. Here’s a highlight of some recent findings:

In a spring 2023 study published in PLOS ONE, researchers point to a strong association between chewing ability and blood glucose levels among Type 2 diabetes (T2D) patients.

Researchers conducted a retrospective study of 94 patients (mean age 54.9 years) with T2D and saw a higher blood glucose level (9.42) in individuals who were lacking proper chewing ability as compared to those who had enough teeth that they could chew or “masticate” food properly (blood glucose level of 7.48).

Chewing the Right Foods

The research supports other studies and our own experiences showing how dental implants that allow for proper chewing can positively impact your health. As extracted from a summary of the research:

“When you sit down at a picnic table with family and friends, mastication — chewing — is the last thing on your mind. However, as you bite into your burger, several things start to happen. Digestion, the process by which your body extracts nutrients from food, begins as chewing stimulates the production of saliva. Nutrients that are important to reducing blood glucose levels include fiber, which is obtained in large part through chewing appropriate foods. Chewing also has been reported to stimulate reactions in the intestine that lead to increased insulin secretion, and in the hypothalamus that promote a feeling of satiety, resulting in less food intake. Eating less decreases the likelihood of becoming overweight, which is a major risk factor for developing T2D.”

Dental Implants to the Rescue

When an individual can’t chew properly due to failing and/or missing teeth, or having dentures that slip and don’t allow for proper mastication, they may not be extracting the nutrients they need. Once this chewing function is improved with dental implants, these individuals can savor (and chew) the nutritious foods they love.

Check out a sampling of our many dental implant options here. Then make an appointment with one of our dedicated periodontists at either our Philadelphia or Ambler office.

See for yourself how a permanent solution to missing or failing natural teeth can help you smile, eat and live healthier and more confidently!