The Fitness Zone
Omega 3 fatty acids have long been touted as being good for our hearts and minds, but it seems now they may also benefit our teeth.
Harvard Medical and Public Health researchers found that Omega 3 Fatty acids, specifically docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA,) were associated with a lower incidence of gum disease or Periodontitis.
There are a lot of benefits of omega-3 fatty acids' said senior study author Dr Kenneth Mukamal, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School; We have good evidence they prevent sudden death caused by heart rhythm disturbances. We have some evidence omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke, this [the apparent link to gum health] is a great example of another potential benefit.'
Approximately 9,200 adults were divided into three groups based on their omega 3 consumption in the previous 24 hours, as part of the National Health and Nutrition Survey. Taking into account ulterior factors, dental exams showed that those in the middle and upper category of Omega 3 consumption were between 23 and 30 per cent less likely to have gum disease than those in the lowest category.
Periodontitis is caused by bacterial accumulation around the gum line leaving the gums chronically inflamed. Over time, the gum tissue begins to recede leaving spaces between the gum and teeth or periodontal pockets'.
Periodontitis may be more of a problem than we think; over the age of 30 about 46 per cent of women and 54 per cent of men in the United States experience gingival bleeding, the earliest sign of periodontal disease. Usually treated with local antibiotics and good dental hygiene, it appears that a healthy dose of fish and other sources of omega 3 in the diet may be an additional precautionary measure.
Source: HealthDay News