Where Fish Meets Oral Health

January 24, 2012 | Posted in Education

As if there are not enough healthy benefits to increasing the amount of fish that you eat, who would have thought that improved oral health would have been one of them.  But the truth is that increasing your fish consumption is good for more than just your physique!

The omega-3 found in fish such as salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel and albacore tuna can have two important functions in helping improve your oral health.  First of all, these nutritional oils may have beneficial anti-bacterial affects.

Specifically, omega-3 of marine or plant origin may inhibit the growth of various forms of bacteria. This can be of particular importance to patients with periodontal health issues. The reason is that unhealthy gums are much more easily compromised by bacteria. If simply increasing your salmon consumption can combat the growth of such bacteria, then it seems to be an easy, and tasty, decision to make!

Secondly, the incidence of periodontal disease itself can be reduced through the consumption of such fish! In fact, people who increase their fish consumption to just twice per week can reduce their risk of gum disease by 20%.

So not only might you inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria with omega-3, any bacteria that does grow would have a tougher time penetrating your system through those much healthier gums.

Some people might find it difficult to manage two meals of fish per week. The good news is that there are omega-3 supplements available that can have similar health benefits. You can always discuss the benefits of supplements with a pharmacist or other health care professional including, of course, your dentist.

In fact, at Rideau Dental Centre, we welcome any questions you have about how you can improve your oral health. Visiting us on a regular basis is certainly vital to our ability to take care of your oral health.

But as we like to emphasize, looking after your oral health is just part of an overall healthy lifestyle. And increasing your consumption of omega-3 just makes good oral health sense on so many levels!

So feel free to talk to us with your oral health questions, including the benefits of omega-3. Because increasing your consumption of omega-3 is a healthy habit…and healthy habits lead to healthy lives.

Dr. David Lui

Dental Surgeon