Next time you go out to one of Florida’s award-winning restaurants for dinner, order the fish.
Studies now show a link between the omega-3 fatty acid found in certain types of fish and a lower risk of gum disease. Gum disease is a chronic inflammation caused by the accumulation of bacteria at the gum line. One of the signs of gum disease is “pockets” where the gum tissue separates from the teeth. Chronic gum disease can lead to bone and tooth loss.
A group of researchers at Harvard Medical School is responsible for the study linking omega-3s and reduced risk of gum disease. First, the team looked at gum disease in rabbits; they found that anti-inflammatory treatment with omega-3s helped to slow the disease’s progression. Then, the team studied 9,000 adults, eight percent of whom had gum disease, for a period of five years. The researchers found that adults who ate moderate to high amounts of a fish-derived omega-3 fatty acid (docosahexaenoic acid or DHA) had a 22 percent reduction in their chances of developing gum disease, compared to those who did not eat omega-3s.
The Harvard researchers wrote in their findings that dietary therapy with omega-3 fatty acids may be a safe way to prevent and treat periodontal disease.
However, the team was hesitant to definitively link omega-3s and lower risk of gum disease. They also could not determine specifically how much omega-3 consumption is ideal for preventing gum disease.
Benefits of Eating Fish
The American Heart Association recommends two meals per week of fatty fish: for example salmon, mackerel, herring or albacore tuna. Fish oil has other potential health benefits —some people take fish oil supplements to lower blood pressure or prevent heart conditions.
Fish is also known as a “brain food” and some medical experts believe it helps those who suffer from conditions like depression, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Alzheimer’s disease.
Tooth Loss from Gum Disease
If you have noticed red, swollen gums, bleeding while flossing or your gums receding from your teeth, you might have gum disease. When left untreated, gum disease is the number one cause of adult tooth loss. Fortunately, gum disease can be controlled through early intervention by a skilled dental professional.
If you have already lost one or more teeth — whether due to dental disease, fracture or another reason — consider dental implants. Dr. Ronald Trevisani, a talented dental implants Orlando
provider, can replace up to an entire upper and/or lower arch of teeth with the Hybridge appliance, which is based on dental implant technology. Contact Dr. Trevisani today for a consultation.