Categories: Omega-3

Flossing and Fish Oil: The Keys to a Great Smile

By
Anne-Marie Chalmers, MD
June 30, 2010

We have all heard about the importance of flossing to maintain healthy gums and teeth. Did you know that omega-3 fish oil might also hold a key to preserving that great smile?

Periodontitis is the number one reason for adult tooth loss. Common symptoms include bad breath, space between teeth, oral pockets and receding gums. Scientists also note a clear association between cardiovascular disease and periodontitis.

A newly released study from the Department of Oral Medicine and Periodontology in Egypt reports the impact of omega-3 and aspirin on chronic periodontitis, a gum disease that affects many adults in the United States every year.

Researchers supplemented the diets of study participants who had advanced chronic periodontitis with omega-3 and a low dose of aspirin. After six months, the omega-3 and aspirin group showed a significant reduction in the number of oral pockets. Because omega-3 appears to ameliorate and prevent the mouth’s inflammation reaction to the periodontitis-causing bacteria, researchers believe the anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 fish oil promote healthier gums. They concluded that omega-3 and a low dose aspirin regiment would be a sustainable, affordable way of managing and preventing the gum disease.

But for those who are disposed to gum disease, omega-3 can be a determining factor for managing the infection. So keep chugging your two teaspoons of omega-3 fish oil every day. It will give you something extra to smile about.

Of course, taking omega-3 fish oil is not enough to keep gum disease at bay. Dentists suggest that daily brushing, flossing and regular professional cleaning are the easiest ways to prevent periodontitis.

This is not the first time researchers have linked omega-3 to promoting oral health. Numerous studies from research institutions around the world have analyzed the effects of omega-3 on periodontitis and gingivitis, a milder form of the gum disease. Research reports consistently reveal that intake of omega-3 help prevent and manage periodontitis.

Sources:

Bendyk, A. “Effect of Dietary Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids on Experimental Periodontitis in the Mouse.” Diss. University of Adelaide, 2009. Abstract.  PubMed.gov. 6 Feb. 2009. Web. 29 June 2010.

El-Sharkawy, H. “Adjunctive Treatment of Chronic Periodontitis with Daily Dietary Supplementation with Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Low-Dose Aspirin.” Diss.  Mansoura University, 2010. Abstract. PubMed.gov. 23 June 2010. Web. 29 June 2010.

Staff, Mayo Clinic. “Gingivitis – MayoClinic.com.” Mayo Clinic Medical Information and Tools for Healthy Living – MayoClinic.com. 18 Nov. 2008. Web. 29 June 2010.

Staff, Mayo Clinic. “Periodontitis: Symptoms – MayoClinic.com.” Mayo Clinic Medical Information and Tools for Healthy Living – MayoClinic.com. 22 Nov. 2008. Web. 30 June 2010.

Anne-Marie Chalmers, MD

Born and raised in the United States, Dr. Chalmers graduated from Brown University and completed her medical training at the University of Oslo in Norway. Dr. Chalmers practiced medicine for many years, serving both at high-tech hospitals and as a community health worker in rural Norway. Together with Dr. Martinsen, she later co-founded Wellpride LLLP dba Omega3 Innovations and is the joint holder of several patents that facilitate the ingestion of multiple medication combinations. Today, she serves as the president of Omega3 Innovations.

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