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Fish fights gum disease

A diet full of fish and nuts goes a long way to protect people from gum disease, as indicated by a recent study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. The research has suggested that polyunsaturated fatty acids found in foods such as fatty fish and nuts will help keep people’s smiles healthy as it has been shown to help lower the risks of gum disease. The study examined the diets of 182 adults during the years of 1999 to 2004 and found that those who consumed the highest amounts of fatty acids were 30% less likely to develop gingivitis and 20% less likely to develop periodontitis. Lead researcher Dr. Asghar Z. Naqvi of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre in Boston, Mass, said, “We found that n-3 [omega-3] fatty acid intake, particularly docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid are inversely associated with periodontitis in the US population. To date, the treatment of periodontitis has primarily involved mechanical cleaning and local antibiotic application. A dietary therapy, if effective, might be a less expensive and safer method for the prevention and treatment of periodontitis.” The following statement was issued by chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr. Nigel Carter: “This study shows that a small and relatively easy change in people’s diet can massively improve the condition of their teeth and gums, which in turn can improve their overall wellbeing.” (Source: British Health Foundation news release, November 8, 2010)

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