Oral hygiene and preventive dental care are knowing the ways of how to prevent oral problems before it gets worse. This includes proper flossing, proper brushing, using  the right mouthwash and other techniques in maintaining the oral health. All dentists recommend  oral checkups and general cleaning of the teeth  every  six months. Studies have shown that  tooth decay and gum disease manifest every 6 months thus it is essential to follow what the dentist recommend to prevent these oral issues from happening. If a dental issue is detected, it can be treated right away. This will save the patient the hassles of bleeding gums and excruciating pain due to a decayed tooth. This will also result in big financial savings because any possible major dental surgery will  be prevented. But did you know that there is an essential fat that helps in maintaining and boosting your oral health? Yes there is. We’re talking about omega-3 fatty acids.

What Is Omega-3?

Omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential fats because the human body needs it to work normally. Since this type of fat is not manufactured by the body, it is sourced from the food that we eat or through supplements.  There are three types of polyunsaturated fat in omega-3:

Omega-3 And Oral Health

Omega-3 has anti-inflammation properties that help in maintaining a healthy heart and nervous system. It also lowers the risk of developing mouth cancers, hypertension, ADHD, dementia, depression and a healthy brain. Recent studies have also found out that good levels of omega-3 can help in maintaining oral health. Based on the new study  from the University of Kentucky,  omega3-rich foods lower the amount of  disease bacteria by  50%. It was also found that the essential fatty acid has strong anti-bacterial effects against oral pathogens that can extend beyond inflammation. Based on the same findings, ALA, DHA and EPA and their fatty acid ethyl esters can minimize the growth of these pathogens that includes Candida albicans, streptococcus mutans and Porphyromonas ginigivalis.

Experts stated that most studies on omega-3 for oral health focuses on the anti-inflammatory  properties of the essential fat and the anti-bacterial attributes are barely mentioned or completely ignored. The anti-bacterial attributes are essential and omega-3s may be used as the Nutraceuticals in the near future. The study focused on the effects of ALA, DHA,  EPA and the fatty esters ALAEE, DHAEE and EPAEE and were found to show strong anti-bacterial activity.

Omega-3 And Oral Cancer

Another study that was made by scientists at Queen Mary, University of London in the UK states that omega-3 can also lower the risks or prevention of early and late stage of oral and skin cancer. The study was published in the journal carcinogenesis. The scientists grew cell cultures in their laboratory from different cell lines which includes malignant oral and skin cancers alongside pre-malignant cells from normal oral and skin cells. The study was focused on a certain type of cancer called squamos-cell carcinoma. The researches carried out in vitro test by adding omega-3 into the cell cultures. The results showed that omega-3 induced cell deaths and selectively inhibit the growth of the malignant and pre-malignant cells.  The administered doses of omega-3  did not affect the normal cells. They also stated that it was also partly due to over-stimulation of a key growth factor that triggered the cell deaths. These scientists believe that since the normal cells were not affected, omega-3 fatty acids could be used in the prevention and treatment of oral and skin cancer.

Cold water fish, squid, green leafy vegetables, nuts, berries, flaxseed, olives, eggs and orange vegetables are some of the rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Enhance your daily or weekly diet by serving these foods together with your regular preventive dental care to ensure your mouth, teeth and gums’ overall heath.

Author: Roselen works as a health magazine contributor/editor. Her current task is on researching more about omega 3 and calamari oil for different types of health diseases. She also loves coffee and running in the morning.