Omega-3 essential fatty acids from food sources are well-known for reducing the risk of heart disease and improving brain function. But, in the last few years, researchers have conducted more studies to pinpoint the oral health benefits of these essential nutrients.
There are two main properties that make Omega-3 fatty acids useful in improving dental careand possibly helpful in treating dental diseases:
- Omega-3 is used in treatment for heart disease and joint disorders because it reduces inflammation of the tissues. Now, researchers have discovered that it can be used to treat swollen and tender gums caused by periodontal disease, one of the leading dental diseases in America.
- In addition to easing inflamed gums, they have found that the damaged tissue and alveolar bone, where your teeth are anchored to your jaw, may also be restored with a healthy intake of Omega-3 fatty acids.
- In a 2010 study, test results showed that Omega-3 specifically targets the most common cavity – making oral bacteria, including S. mutans. These results have inspired further studies for how well it works to prevent bacteria growth and may lead to an Omega-3 enhanced chewing gum.
What foods have the most Omega-3 fatty acids?
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in plant and fish sources, and there are three that are particularly healthy. EPA and DHA, found in fish, are considered better than ALA in plant sources and over-the-counter fish oil supplements because they are better absorbed by our bodies. However, all three Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial to your health, so if you don’t like to eat fish, you can choose plant-based foods.
Nutritionists recommend you eat at least two servings of fish per week to get a good amount of Omega-3s. The National Institute of Health suggests having 2% of your daily calories be Omega-3 rich, so an average person eating 2,000 calories needs 4 grams a day. Listed below are the most common foods with the highest levels of Omega-3 fatty acids:
- 4 oz Salmon, 2.2g
- 4 oz Mackerel, 2.2g
- 4 oz Tuna, 0.3g
- 1 oz Flaxseeds, 1.8g
- 1 oz Walnuts, 2.6g
- 0.5 cup Spinach, 0.1g
Robert Milton writes for Austin Dental Center, PC, a dentist located in Austin TX who provides a wide range of services from preventative care, teeth whitening, dental implants, and more. For more information you can find them at Austin Dental Center, PC, 2304 Hancock Dr #1, Austin, TX 78756, Phone: (512) 298-1212.