You probably know omega-3 fatty acids best for their role in preventing heart disease, but did you know they prevent gum disease too? Periodontitis, a type of gum disease that causes tooth loss, may be tamed by taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements – or by adding more foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids to your diet. And that’s a good thing if you want to keep your smile.
Taking Omega-3 Fatty Acids to Prevent Gum Disease and Periodontitis
In a study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, researchers confirmed the tooth-conserving power of omega-3 fatty acids. When they looked at data on over 9,000 adults, they found those who had the most DHA (a type of omega-3) in their diet reduced their risk of periodontitis by 20%. Even modest amounts of dietary omega-3 fatty acids offered protection against this common form of inflammatory gum disease.
Periodontitis is one of the most frequent causes of tooth loss. It usually comes from poor oral hygiene that allows plaque to build up along the gum line and at the base of the teeth. When this happens, bad bacteria move in, and the body launches an all-out immune response to ward off the bacterial invaders. It’s the aggressive nature of the immune response that causes many of the changes seen with periodontitis – changes that can eventually lead to destruction of the bone around the teeth and tooth loss.
How Do Omega-3 Fatty Acids Prevent Gum Disease?
How do omega-3 fatty acids help to prevent gum disease and periodontitis? Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties, which helps to ease the inflammation people with periodontitis have. Researchers from the University of Kentucky also found that omega-3 fatty acids slow down and even stop the growth of bacteria that cause gum disease and periodontitis. Taking omega-3 fatty acids packs a double wallop against the destructive bacteria that hid out inside your mouth.
Taking Omega-3 Fatty Acids to Prevent Periodontitis: The Bottom Line?
Taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements (2 grams per day) could be just what the dentist ordered for preventing gum disease. Omega-3 fatty acids are safe for most people with the exception of people who have bleeding disorders or people on blood thinners. The other option is to add more foods rich in omega-3s to your diet such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, and anchovies.
Don’t forget to brush and floss twice daily and get a professional cleaning every six months – to remove tartar and plaque that can lead to gum disease. Keep your beautiful smile with good oral hygiene – and a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Nutraingredients website. “Omega-3 may reduce gum disease: Study”