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Seafood for Smiles – Say Goodbye to Periodontal Disease by Eating More Fish

“What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life’s pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.” ― Joseph Addison

Smiles are one of humanity’s greatest free treasures. Just the act of making ourselves smile can change our mood, lower blood pressure, relieve stress, release endorphins and make you look younger. That is why we brush and floss every day to keep our smiles bright. Fortunately, your toothbrush is not the only weapon you have for protecting your teeth. What you eat can have a dramatic effect on dental health. Research has been telling us that we can help keep our smiles healthy, bright, and disease-free by filling our plates with omega-3 rich seafood.

Periodontal Disease
Eat seafood for happiness and a healthy smile!
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Replace Risky Habits with Beneficial Ones

Although we know it’s important, sometimes we may not brush quite as long as we should or floss as often as the dentist recommends. As time goes by and poor habits sink in, periodontal disease can emerge like a silent invader, inflaming our gums and yellowing our teeth, morphing a wonderful characteristic into something we resist sharing with others. When periodontitis causes the inflamed gums to pull away from the teeth and form “pockets” that become infected, the battle between your immune system and bacterial toxins eventually begins to disintegrate the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place. The only option left is for the teeth to be removed in an expensive procedure. Additionally, advanced gum disease also increases the risk for stroke and heart problems. Good dental hygiene will keep the bacteria at bay and prevent periodontal disease, but why not take an extra step? Consuming seafood will help keep your teeth healthy with the powerful anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.

Seafood to the Rescue

Omega-3s are one of the most powerful natural anti-inflammatories, a fact that scientists have long recognized. Their anti-inflammatory role in cardiovascular disease is already well established – but research has been discovering many other uses for them to improve our health. One of the latest beneficiaries are our gums. Periodontal disease is simply a bacterial infection that causes inflammation in the gums. And of course the best way to fight an inflammation is with an anti-inflammatory! So scientists put omega-3s to the test. By surveying over 9,000 people, researchers found that those who had a regular diet of omega-3 rich foods were 30% less likely to have gum disease than those who eat little to no foods with omega-3s. Of course there are other factors to take into account. People who eat fish may simply lead healthier lifestyles and have less disease overall. However, there have been other studies that have found the same effect of omega-3 rich diets correlates with low occurrence of periodontal disease. This leads us to believe that omega-3s have the ability to block the inflammation causing agents of gum disease.

One study even found that omega-3s have antibacterial properties. Researchers observed that omega-3s could inhibit the growth of oral pathogens before infection occurs. This means that they can potentially combat bacteria long before there is even an inflammation, thus providing a double layer of oral protection. In all studies, the long-chain EPA and DHA omega-3 forms were found to be the most beneficial for oral health – both in terms of anti-inflammatory and antibacterial factors – and are the forms found naturally in seafood.

This doesn’t mean you have to go out and start stuffing yourself with seafood at every meal. The researchers found that eating a few servings of fish a week was enough to lower a person’s risk. Seafood also provides a host of vitamins and minerals that are fantastic for teeth. Try eating whole canned sardines with bones for a rich source of calcium, which is especially good for your smile.

Seafood is not the only food that has tooth-happy essential fatty acids. Nuts, avocados, and olive oil can also fight gum disease. With such amazing benefits, why not combine these foods for optimal gum disease fighting power? Seafood Watch has a lovely page listing recipes with sustainable seafood. Check out these recipes for whole striped bass with avocado salsa verde and olive oil, or this autumn salad with warm Oregon shrimp vinaigrette sprinkled with almonds. Try encrusting your favorite fillet with cashews or almonds, or just topping it off with avocado slices. The opportunities to mix and match are endless. With sustainable seafood, you can support healthy oceans AND keep smiling with beautiful teeth!

Periodontal disease
The omega-3s in sardines fight inflammation of the gums that can lead to periodontal disease.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Periodontal disease can lead to fewer smiles, less happiness, and may result in very expensive dental procedures. Since we know that we are not always able to follow precise dental hygiene recommendations, it makes perfect sense to include another preventative measure, especially if our taste buds benefit as well. Another added bonus – seafood actually makes us happy! Not only are you eating a meal that improves your smile, but it makes you want to smile even more. Get your delicious and sustainable seafood from Pucci Foods and show off that gorgeous smile!

5 thoughts on “Seafood for Smiles – Say Goodbye to Periodontal Disease by Eating More Fish

  1. I was so pleased to hear that eating more fish could help prevent certain types of oral problems. There are so many other great benefits already with fish being low in fat and high in protein that this just gives us another great reason to add more of it into our weekly diet. I recently read a study that concluded that diet in general benefits oral health more so than even brushing or flossing! I’m not sure how true that is, but if you combined a great oral hygiene program with a diet, at least partially designed around oral health that would surely give you a better chance at a beautiful smile. The recipes also sound delicious. I was already making recipes in my head before I got to that portion of the article and I look forward to giving them a try!

  2. definitely a great endorsement for seafood, Gross! There really is nothing more alluring than a shiny white smile, and at the same time nothing more revolting then a black yellow smokers mouth. I know im guilty of slacking on the dental hygiene sometimes, so an extra serving or two of omega -3 would certainty benefit me in the long run.

  3. Well, honestly this comes as no surprise to me. Omega 3’s are actually proven to be beneficial in many areas besides dental care. I do love the big four mentioned in the article; fish, nuts, avocados, and olive oil (although I love my cocunut oil also!). Anyone else here find that any of these combinations leading to less health problems? Is it just me?

  4. I would like to read more about this – the latest research on the impact of eating seafood. And taking Omega 3. What if diet is more important then brushing or all else that we are doing? That would be really amazing.

  5. I use olive oil, avocado, coconut oil and nuts. Seafood is the last for me to add, but I’m getting there. I was thinking of making seafood gumbos, etc. But, my hygienist said that my teeth were pretty good. I was surprised to hear this. I hadn’t been in four years due to divorce. But I am 52 and zero health problems, so I guess the diet works for me.

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