While fish products might not be the best path to good breath, recent work by Dr. Alison Coates from the University of South Australia suggests that it might be a beneficial therapy for gum disease. Over half of all American adults suffer from some degree of periodontal disease, and the disease itself has been linked to a number of other health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and oral and pancreatic cancers.
What is Periodontal Disease?
The term gum disease, or periodontal disease, includes all stages of the infection, from gingivitis to periodontitis. Bleeding or swollen gums are strong indicators of gum disease, which results from a buildup of bacteria-filled plaque on teeth above and below the gum line. As the disease progresses, gums can pull away from the teeth causing unsightly gum-recession and loose teeth.
Treating Gum Disease
In its early stages, commonly known as gingivitis, gum disease is reversible. With a full dental cleaning and careful oral maintenance, swollen or bleeding gums can return to their natural pink and healthy state. Treating gum disease that has progressed to a more severe state involves removing the harmful bacteria, and promoting the healing of gums that have become separated from the tooth. Bone or gum loss that has occurred cannot be reversed naturally, but dental procedures that replace receded gums do exist.
Fish Oil and Gum Disease
Studies reviewed by Dr. Coates showed that in two of eight studies, statistically significant instances of fish oil improving periodontal symptoms occurred. In the studies, use of fish oil in combination with aspirin reduced symptoms of swelling that accompanied gum disease. Omega-3 fatty acids present in fish oil have long been shown to provide health benefits other than those associated with gum disease. These benefits include boosting heart health, soothing rheumatoid arthritis, reducing depressing, and many others. Add fish oil’s potential to combat gum disease, and you have a strong case in favor of increasing your consumption of omega-3 fatty acids
Healthy Gums in Livonia
While we hope to see further research flesh out the links between fish oil and improved gum health, consuming supplements should by no means be considered a replacement for regular brushing, flossing, and visits to your Livonia dentist. Procedures such as scaling and root planing remove harmful buildups around the tooth and below the gum that can’t be accomplished at home. Schedule your appointment today by contacting your Livonia Dental Office at (734)425-4400. We gladly serve patients from Livonia, Farmington Hills, Farmington, Plymouth, Northville, Novi, Dearborn Heights, and Dearborn.