Fish Oil as Supplemental Therapy for Periodontal Disease

By Lisa Franchi on May 04, 2012

In a study led by Dr. Alison Coates from the University of South Australia and colleagues from the School of Dentistry at University of Adelaide in Australia, it was found that fish oil supplementation could be taken by people with periodontal disease as an adjunctive therapy.

Periodontitis – the inflammation and infection of the tissues, ligaments, and bones surrounding the teeth happens when gingivitis (swollen gums) is untreated or when treatment was delayed. Loss of support eventually leads to the falling out of teeth. This condition is usually the main cause of tooth loss in adults, affecting half of their population. It is also linked to more serious problems involving the heart. People with periodontitis are at risk of suffering from heart problems and stroke.

Fish Oil for Periodontitis

Fish oil is known to be the major source of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which are essential in keeping the heart healthy. Dr Coates and her team of researchers analysed eight studies that involved humans and arrived at the conclusion that fish oil could help in the treatment of periodontal disease. They noticed improvement in clinical measures among the participants instructed to take fish oil as part of the therapy in several studies. And even if there’s no conclusive evidence, Dr Coates pointed out that fish oil has many other health benefits.

She recommends people to take sufficient amount of mega-3 fatty acids in a regular basis to promote good health. In Australia, 500mg of fish oil is the suggested dietary target which is equivalent to at least 2 fatty fish meals every week. Dr Coates added that there’s no serious risk associated with consuming fish oil. However, for individuals who are taking blood thinning medication, doctor’s advice is necessary.

The study suggests that more well-designed studies are needed to support the theory that fish oil is effective in reducing periodontal symptoms. Its effectiveness should be evaluated when taken alone and when taken with aspirin. They also pointed out the compliance to treatment together with the dose and length of supplementation. Currently, researchers from Australia are investigating the effects of fish oil as supplemental therapy for periodontal disease.


Source of this article:

The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

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