Is Fish a Friend to Your Gums?

fishThe fact that fish is healthy should come as no surprise. In fact, fish oil tablets are a popular dietary supplement and can significantly lower your risk of developing fatal heart disease. The same mechanism that makes it a beneficial friend to your heart health, mainly its ability to regulate harmful inflammation, may also make a healthy diet of fish a friend to your periodontal (gum) health. San Jose dentist, Dr. Randall LaFrom, explores how fish can help keep your mouth healthy and free of disease.

The Start of Gum Disease

To understand how fish and its fatty acids can help ward off gum disease, let’s take a look at how it develops. Like many dental health problems, including tooth decay and bad breath, gum disease typically stems from a bacterial infection. The germs that reside in your mouth, of which there are between 10-15 billion, form dental plaque when they congregate. When this mass of bacteria accumulates along your gum line, certain microbes can tigger your immune system’s response to harmful germs–inflammation.

Fighting Gum Disease by Attacking Inflammation

To test fish’s effectiveness at controlling inflammation related to gum disease, researchers assessed the risk of gum disease among 9,182 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1999 to 2004. They compared the risk assessments to the subjects’ dietary intake of fatty acids. The results of the study, which were published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, suggest that those who consumed moderate to high amounts of fatty acid, either through their diet or through fish oil supplements, were as much as 30% less likely to develop gum disease. While current periodontal therapy, which includes manual cleaning and sometimes a local antibiotic, is effective at treating unhealthy gums, experts hope that the results of the study can lead to innovative, and less invasive, dietary treatment for healthier gums.

Keep Your Gums Healthy in San Jose

To learn more about maintaining your good oral health, schedule a dental consultation with Dr. LaFrom at our Silicon Valley dentist office by calling (408) 996-8595. We proudly serve patients from Cupertino, Saratoga, Campbell, Sunnyvale, San Jose, Santa Clara County, Silicon Valley, and the surrounding communities.

~ by cupertinodentist on February 1, 2013.

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