Navigating life with Type 2 Diabetes goes beyond monitoring insulin levels and cutting down on sugar. It’s about understanding the intricate dance between various lifestyle factors and glucose metabolism—a dance where mastication, or chewing, plays a surprising role in controlling diabetes risk.

This article will explore the overlooked connection between chewing difficulties and elevated blood sugar levels among diabetic patients. For those aiming to manage diabetes more effectively, recognizing the importance of maintaining good oral health could be a game-changer.

The Impact of Mastication on Glucose Metabolism

Chewing might seem like a minute part of the extensive list of considerations for diabetes management. However, the way you chew, and the duration, has a significant impact on several bodily functions, including glucose metabolism and insulin secretion.

When individuals chew their food well, they’re not just breaking it down for easier swallowing; they’re also kicking off the digestion process more efficiently. And guess what? Efficient digestion has been implicated in better blood sugar control—something every person with diabetes strives for daily.

A Strong Connection: Chewing and Blood Sugar Levels in Type 2 Diabetics

In a study involving 94 Type 2 diabetic patients, the link between chewing ability and blood glucose levels was undeniable. Researchers found that those with poor chewing abilities due to problems like tooth loss and dental issues had substantially higher blood sugar levels when measured against their counterparts who could chew without such impediments.

To put it into perspective, good chewers registered a blood glucose level of 7.48, measured by glycated hemoglobin A1c—an indicator of average blood sugar level over a couple of months. This contrasts sharply with the near 27% higher readings of 9.42 in those whose ability to chew was compromised.

Impaired Chewing Associated With Higher Blood Sugar Levels

Why might this be the case? Well, impaired chewing often stems from diminished dental occlusion—the way our teeth align when we bite. Those issues lead to a reluctance to chew properly, which, in turn, affects the entire metabolic process.

Blood glucose control is a delicate balance, and the mechanics of chewing have been found to directly influence its stability. In other words, the strength of your bite could be silently swaying your blood sugar levels.

Trouble Chewing and Diabetes Risk: What’s the Relationship?

How does something as seemingly innocuous as chewing influence diabetes risk? The act of chewing—particularly doing it slowly—facilitates a smoother digestive process. Saliva, enriched with enzymes like lingual lipase, works its magic on the food from the moment you start chewing.

By thoroughly breaking down food in the mouth, less work and less energy are required from the stomach and intestines. Nutrient absorption in the gut becomes more efficient, and the overall digestive process becomes less taxing on the body’s metabolic system.

When individuals rush through their meals or fail to chew properly, due to tooth issues or preference, they are inadvertently sidelining these benefits and potentially exacerbating their diabetes symptoms.

How Eating Habits Influence Metabolic Health

The correlation between eating habits and metabolic health extends beyond blood sugar levels—there’s also considerable impact on our intake of essential nutrients and the functioning of the brain-neuron connection.

Patients who eat too quickly are often missing out on the full range of nutrients their food offers. Large, unchewed pieces tend not to be broken down for nutrient absorption. As a result, what passes through the digestive system might leave behind a treasure trove of vitamins, minerals, and fibers that play a considerable role in managing diabetic symptoms.

Furthermore, the act of chewing stimulates histaminic neurons in conjunction with the masseter muscle—one of the primary muscles responsible for the action. This interaction may indeed influence blood sugar levels, according to recent research.

Oral Health: Your First Defense Against Diabetes Risks

Oral health, often overlooked in discussions about diabetes management, is an essential factor in maintaining metabolic balance. For individuals living with diabetes, periodontal diseases present not just a risk to their oral cavity, but also a formidable challenge to their overall health. The presence of gum disease can exaggerate the body’s resistance to insulin, creating an uphill battle in regulating blood sugar levels. Regular dental check-ups and proper oral hygiene practices are, therefore, not only a preventative measure for cavities and gum disease, but also a critical component in managing diabetes effectively. Implementing a rigorous oral care routine can mitigate these risks and support a more stable metabolic state.

Maintaining good oral health means more than just radiant smiles. It stands as your first line of defense in mitigating diabetes risk. Compromised dentition can lead to difficulty chewing, affecting glucose levels and overall metabolic health.

Whether it’s seeking treatment for tooth loss or being vigilant about dental hygiene, taking the time to invest in good oral care is tantamount to taking command of diabetes management.


Your journey with Type 2 diabetes is uniquely yours, but it’s paved with common paths to better health. Chewing might be an overlooked aspect, but it’s a fundamental part of your relationship with food and consequently, your diabetes control measures. By turning attention towards mastication and oral health, you can explore a new facet of diabetes management and perhaps find yourself enjoying a more balanced glucose level.

For those with difficulty chewing, it’s imperative to consult with dental professionals. Advancements in treatments, including implant-supported restorations, have shown promising results in not just restoring the mechanics of chewing, but also significantly lowering blood sugar levels.

In the grand mosaic of diabetes management, every piece counts. Chewing is a piece we can no longer afford to neglect; it’s not only about managing a condition—it’s about reclaiming quality of life. Keep munching mindfully and remember, your oral health might just be the next frontier in keeping your diabetes in check.


This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Abraham Parker, nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.

Published On: February 14th, 2024 / Categories: Diabetes diet and nutrition, Diabetes management tips / Tags: , , /