Harvard researchers found that polyunsaturated fatty acid consumption could be an effective treatment and prevention method for gum disease. These new periodontal disease treatments focus on reducing inflammation rather than eliminating bacteria.
The study, published in a November article of the “Journal of the American Dietetic Association,” looked at more than 9,000 adults who received oral examinations between 1999 and 2004. Researchers gathered and evaluated extensive data regarding dietary intake and other factors that may have affected their diet. More than 8% of the study participants had periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease. Those who consumed higher amounts of particular polyunsaturated fatty acids, however, saw approximately 20% less periodontitis prevalence.
Inflammation vs. Infection
Periodontitis causes gum tissue to become inflamed with bacteria growth and separate from the teeth, eventually causing tooth loss and even severe jaw bone damage. Most traditional treatments focus on removing the bacterial infection, but this strategy focuses on the inflammation aspect.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids found in foods like fish oil contain anti-inflammatory properties. Dental health professionals may soon be able to use this safe dietary method as a cheap and less aggressive treatment for the disease. Dietary adjustments could also prove to be an effective prevention method as well.
Read more: Medical News Today