Study Finds Eating Fish May Lower Gum Disease Risk

At Willis Dental, patients at our Salem, Oregon dentistry understand the importance of having healthy teeth and gums. A great-looking smile does more than just ensure you avoid common oral health problems like tooth decay and gum disease. It also helps to lower your risk for a variety of serious health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

Research has found oral bacteria that originates in the mouth can move throughout the body causing inflammation. Studies have discovered oral plaque in the arteries of patients with heart disease and even in the brains of patients with dementia.

By brushing and flossing daily, and by scheduling regular exams at our Salem, Oregon dentistry, patients can successfully lower their risk for not only gum disease and tooth decay, but a range of other health problems as well.

Of course, a patient’s diet also plays a significant role in determining their oral health. A diet high in sugar provides plaque with far more fuel to use when producing harmful substances that cause tooth decay and gum disease when compared to diets with a low sugar content.

If the foods we eat can negatively impact our oral health, it only makes sense that other types of food may actually help to improve the health of your teeth and gums.

Eating fish may help to reduce gum disease in men, according to the results of a new study. Presented at a meeting of the International Association for Dental Research, the study offers another example of just how interconnected our health is with what we eat.

Researchers noted that higher levels of a specific biomarker known as CMPF was linked to less bleeding and probing and fewer pockets along the gum line in men. CMPF is a combination of proteins commonly found in most fish the body absorbs after eating.

While no suggested link was discovered among women, the results of this study does offer encouragement for patients that experience chronic gum disease.

Eating More Fish Can Lead to Healthier Gums

In the study, researchers used a liquid chromatography-mass spectrometer to take blood samples from over 900 participants to determine the CMPF levels of each person. The team then used regression modeling to determine the amount of the metabolite in the patients’ samples in relation to their gum disease diagnosis.

In men, higher levels of CMPF were linked with 1.2 fewer pockets along the gum line with depth greater than 4 mm. Higher CMPF levels were also linked with 0.49 fewer deep gum pockets.

Additionally, men with high CMPF levels were also less likely to bleed from their gum tissue after probing.

Plaque, a sticky biofilm composed of harmful oral bacteria and food particles that linger in the mouth after eating, clings to the surface of your teeth. When allowed to build up, plaque begins to irritate gum tissue, leading to the development of inflammation. When left untreated, inflamed gum tissue can start to pull away from the base of a patient’s teeth. This creates gaps, or pockets, to form along the gum line. Harmful oral bacteria can begin to accumulate below the gum line where it attacks the underlying bone and tissue structures that hold our teeth into position.

The presence and depth of gum pockets is one of the primary indicators of gum disease and gum disease severity.

By decreasing the number of gum pockets in the study participants, fish consumption was noted by researchers as promoting better gum health in men.

While the same association was not noted in women, researchers hope that further study will reveal that eating fish is potentially beneficial for both women and men.