You’ve always heard that a diet filled with fatty fish, such as tuna, sardines, salmon, trout, anchovy, and mackerel, are good for your heart and brain. But did you know that fish are good for your gums, as well?

Research shows that eating moderate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fatty fish and walnuts, may help prevent gum disease.  Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for the human body, but the body cannot produce them.

A study conducted between 1999 and 2004 revealed that participants who consumed 23 percent to 30 percent of omega-3 over a 24 hour period were less likely to have gum disease than those who consumed very little of the acids.

Because the study was based on a single day’s diet, researchers could not determine exactly how much fish oil people should consume daily.  The American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish at least two times a week.  Researchers feel that this amount would not only be beneficial for your heart health and oral health, but for your overall health.

Researchers did take into account age, income, health, education, other socioeconomic factors that could lead to gum disease, as well.  Gum disease, if left untreated, can be linked to heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimers, and other serious health issues.

I’m Corbet Locke, a dentist in Waco, and I recommend the next time you are at the grocery store, toss in a can of tuna or pick up a nice piece of salmon. If you are having trouble with red, swollen, tender or bleeding gums, loose or separating teeth, or receding gums, contact my Waco dentist office at (254)776-4888 to schedule an appointment.