AskNadia: What Can I Eat When I Have No Teeth to Chew Food?

I have type 1 diabetes. Just had all my teeth pulled. What can I eat that doesn’t raise sugar levels? I have tried smoothies which spike sugar levels. I use a 24-hour basal insulin and fast- acting (bolus) insulin. Soups spike sugars, but that could be because I never feel full so I eat lots. 

John Q.

Dear John Q.:

Your situation is one of those that requires a multi-part answer because of several concerns:

1. Do you intend to have dentures built to replace your teeth? (I’m assuming that both your upper and lower teeth have been removed.) This of course would be the most straightforward solution to your situation.

Assuming you do don’t have dental coverage for new teeth, you might take a look into local dentistry colleges or programs to see if you can get free or extremely low-cost dentures made for you. Students at those schools need hands-on practice, which is why the schools often will offer major dental procedures for free in exchange for student access to patients with various dental needs.

The procedures students practice are guided by experienced, licensed dentists and instructors, so there’s little to worry about in terms of missteps or errors.

I’d recommend you going on the internet and looking for dentistry schools in your area. You’ll probably will end up using several different search terms—”dentistry schools,” “student dentists,” “free dentures,” “low-cost dentures,” and more in that vein.

If you are old enough to be on Medicare, look into how it may be able to assist you with obtaining a set of dentures.

2. In the meantime, if you’re not able to afford dentures right now, you have to find ways to protect your gum tissue since you are putting it to uses it’s not really built for. The fact that you are eating a lot of smoothies tells me that you are aware of this.

Your aim here is to keep your gums as whole and healthy as possible as you look to replace your teeth.

3.  Not feeling full after drinking several smoothies is perfectly understandable. Even as you’re drinking a nutritional smoothie, your body craves food to chew on as well as different tastes to enjoy at any single sitting.

You also need to find liquid or semi-liquid food sources that are not high-carb or are low on the glycemic index. Glucerna by Abbott has good reviews. It designed for people with diabetes in mind. The carbs in the drink digest slowly.

I hope you understand that blood sugars, whether you are a person with diabetes or not, spike after a meal. This is perfectly normal. The important number here is how fast within two hours after a meal that blood sugar drops back to a normal range—keeping in mind that as a person with diabetes your “normal” probably will vary.

It may be that your current basal/bolus routine is serving you as well as can be expected, which should give you at least some minor relief from your worries. Here is a good article on How to Lower Your Blood Sugar When it’s Over 200 mg/dl. If you are looking for a nutritious flavorful drink that helps build your immune system, you might like my Power Green Berry Smoothie 9.2 Carbohydrates.

Finally, look around to see if there are diabetes support groups in your area. If so, I’d say that joining one could be a great next step. You’ll be among people who have faced and dealt with problems and concerns very similar to or the same as yours.

Don’t forget to ask your healthcare professional or your doctor or HMO when asking for guidance and recommendations. They may also have a list of diabetes support groups for you to attend.

I hope this helps, John Q.

To your health,

Nadia

Disclaimer:

Nadia’s feedback on your question is in no way intended to initiate or replace your healthcare professional’s therapy or advice. Please check in with your medical team to discuss your diabetes management concerns.

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 About Nadia:

AskNadia (ranked #1 by Google), named “Best Diabetes Blog for 2019 & 2017 by Healthline and with 24 nominations, Nadia Al-Samarrie’s efforts have made her stand out as a pioneer and leading patient advocate in the diabetes community.

Nadia was not only born into a family with diabetes but also married into one. She was propelled at a young age into “caretaker mode,” and with her knowledge of the scarcity of resources, support, and understanding for people with diabetes, co-founded Diabetes Interview, now Diabetes Health magazine.

Under her reign- Diabetes Health magazine was named one of the top 10 magazines to follow in the world for 2018 by Feedspot Blog Reader

Nadia has been featured on ABC, NBC, CBS, and other major cable networks. Her publications, medical supply business, and website have been cited, recognized and published in the San Francisco Chronicle, The Wall Street Journal, Ann Landers advice column, former Chrysler chairman Lee Iacocca, Entrepreneur magazine, Houston News, Phili.com, Brand Week, Drug Topics, and many other media outlets.

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