Omega 3s and Gum Disease
What is Gum Disease?
Gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease, is caused by bacterial plaque build-up. It is the second most common illness known to man, just behind the common cold, and far more prevalent than cancer, diabetes, and the flu. Gingivitis is characterized by swollen, bleeding gums and minor mouth discomfort. Left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, a more serious illness that can result in tooth loss, bone loss, and the need for extensive reconstructive surgery.
How Might Omega 3s Help Fight Gum Disease?
Omega-3 fatty acids are thought to have anti-inflammatory properties, so they likely ease the inflammation caused by periodontitis. In recent years, studies have noted that patients suffering from periodontitis are much more likely to develop a range of diseases including diabetes, dementia, and even Alzheimer’s. Researchers speculate that the common link between these maladies is inflammation. Omega-3s might help you ward off any number of negative health outcomes! They may also inhibit bacterial growth, the underlying cause of gum disease. Of course, the link between omega-3 consumption and reduced risk of periodontitis is currently only theoretical and requires further research.
Best Diet for Healthy Gums
At The CENTER For Advanced Periodontal & Implant Therapy, our Brentwood periodontal specialists encourage all patients to eat a balanced diet full of whole, unprocessed foods while limiting intake of refined sugars. Sugar, particularly the sticky kind found in caramels and lollipops, contribute to bacterial plaque growth, which can result in gum disease and tooth decay.
You can purchase omega-3 supplements available at the market. However, it is always better (and more fun) to get your nutrients the natural way. Here are some omega-3 rich foods that may already be in your kitchen:
-Walnuts – These crunchy, nutritious nuts are readily available at any market. They are a great source of protein, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus as well.
-Flaxseed – Flaxseed can be used to add crunch to your salad. Flaxseed oil is also a great base for salad dressings. When ground into fine powder, flaxseed is a great substitute for any thickening agent.
-Grass-fed beef – Cows fed grass instead of grains contain more omega-3 fatty acids.
-Tofu – Vegans and vegetarians will be relieved to note that tofu is a good source of omega-3 fats.
-Seafood – Fish and shellfish including salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardine, anchovies, and scallops can help you increase your omega-3 intake. Careful: generally speaking, the larger the fish, the more you need to worry about mercury consumption, particularly if you are nursing or pregnant.
Need Help with Gum Disease in Brentwood? Contact the CENTER Today!
The CENTER’s gum disease and dental implant experts are committed to providing the best Brentwood periodontal services. To learn more about our West LA periodontists, schedule a consultation with Dr. Alexandre-Amir Aalam or Dr. Alina Krivitsky today by calling 310-826-8242.