Following a five–year study involving elderly participants in Japan, fish oil has been found to help combat mouth infection and boost oral health in the process.
Dental examinations revealed that a lack of the essential omega–3 fatty acids found in fish oil in people’s diets had strong links with the progression of periodontal (gum) disease.
The new findings, recently published in the Nutrition journal, also revealed that omega–3 fatty acids were strongly effective against a range of oral bacteria.
This news comes in light of similar findings from a US National Institute for Health–sponsored study. Lead author Dr C.B. Huang, from the Oral Health Research Centre at the University of Kentucky’s College of Dentistry, commented on the dental health benefits of fish oil.
“The anti–bacterial part of the omega–3 fatty acids could be very important. Certainly, it could be a potential new use of omega–3 fatty acids in the future.”
Following these recent journal* findings, Dr. Huang confirmed that ongoing research into anti–bacterial activity would include investigating products such as chewing gum.
In light of the news of these beneficial oral health effects, the British Dental Health Foundation Chief Executive, Dr. Nigel Carter BDS LDS (RCS), commented:
“These findings illustrate how the consequences of our diet can be linked to gum disease, the most common dental hygiene issue. There are hundreds of bacteria in our mouths at any one time that contribute to gum disease, which not only threatens tooth loss but, significantly, overall health.
“A healthy mouth can lead to a healthy body so a good oral healthcare routine, including brushing teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and making regular visits to the dentist are just as important as a healthy, balanced diet.”
With evidence of a poor diet linked to a third of all cancer cases, Dr. Carter also stressed: “Eating fish can help lower the risk of cancer, as can an increase in eggs, fruit and vegetables.”
The Foundation encourages members of the public with any concerns about the effects of their diet on their teeth to contact the National Dental Helpline on 0845 063 1188.
Self�”examination is another simple way of looking after yourself. The Foundation, who run a Mouth Cancer Action Month campaign each November, encourage all members of the public to check their mouths regularly for ulcers which do not heal within three weeks, red and white patches in the mouth and unusual lumps and swellings in the mouth and neck.
*Source: Molecular Oral Microbiology, Volume 25 Issue 1, pages 75–80 “A novel bioactivity of omega–3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and their ester derivatives” Authors: C.B. Huang, J.L Ebersole
For further information please contact the Foundation’s Press Office on 01788 539792 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Members of the public can contact the Dental Helpline for free and impartial expert advice on 0845 063 1188, Monday to Friday, or by emailing email@example.com.
The Foundation’s website can be found at www.dentalhealth.org.
The British Dental Health Foundation is an independent charity dedicated to improving the public’s oral health practice. It raises awareness of key issues such as mouth cancer through its annual Mouth Cancer Action Month campaign, and in alliance with its global arm, the International Dental Health Foundation, it runs the educational National Smile Month campaign. The Foundation provides free, impartial dental advice to inform and influence the public, the profession and the Government.