View Full Version : Are The Bacteria In Your Mouth Going To Kill You?

11th October 2012, 05:28 PM
Recent studies have suggested that poor oral health could lead to the development of heart disease and atherosclerosis, due to the numerous pathogens that may be found inhabiting your mouth.

It’s amazing to think that tiny bacteria that invade your mouth may lead to the development of heart disease and, in some cases, strokes.

There are many theories behind why this is true, however, the common theme stems from inflammation of your gums and the bacteria in your gums.

First, some researchers think that bacteria found in your gums may enter into your bloodstream and attach to the wall of your artery. From there, they may increase the size of the plaque, therefore blocking blood flow to the heart.

The second theory is that the same bacteria travels into your system and could cause inflammation in your cells, therefore causing the wall of your arteries to become swollen.

In fact, research has shown, many people who have gum disease may have a bigger carotid artery - sometimes double the normal size – when compared to people without gum disease.

It has also been suggested that omega-3 fatty acids, when consumed through fatty fish intake or supplementation, may have both anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial effects.

One study published in the journal Molecular Oral Microbiology, could show the anti-bacterial component, aside from the anti-inflammatory component, of omega-3 fatty acids and its effects on common bacteria that may contribute to poor oral health.

Let me explain…

Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Oral Health

The use of omega-3 fatty acids, through supplementation, has been shown effective for improving brain, eye, and heart health.

However, it has also been shown to possess a micro-bacterial component as well, which could be important for improving oral or dental health.

In fact, in one study conducted, a higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids was associated with a reduced risk for developing periodontal disease.

The authors of this study aimed to see if omega-3 fatty acids and their ethyl esters could have anti-bacterial components which may be beneficial to reducing bacteria that could cause poor oral health.

The researchers tested omega-3 fatty acids (EPA, DHA, and ALA) and their ethyl esters (ALAEE, DHAEE, and EPAEE) against pathogens commonly found in your mouth.

Ethyl esters are fatty acids that are combined with an alcohol in your body.

They showed that the omega-3 fatty acids and their ethyl esters possessed strong anti-bacterial effects on various bacteria found in your mouth, which included: Streptococcus mutans, Candida Albicans, Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, Fusobacterium Nucleatum, and Porphyromonas gingivalis.

From their work they concluded that omega-3 fatty acids and their ethyl esters could have positive effects in improving oral health, due to their anti-bacterial effects, and not just their anti-inflammatory effects.

Although the research is promising in using omega-3 fatty acids for improving oral and dental health, more work is warranted before the incorporation of omega-3 fatty acids may be a valid treatment option for use in improving dental health.

Another Success for Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for not only improving heart, eye, and brain health, but also may improve your oral health.

In fact, previous research has shown that people with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood and cells, showed a reduced risk for developing periodontal disease.

Now, according to the results of this study, it could provide a new benefit of omega-3 fatty acids as an anti-bacterial agent and not just an anti-inflammatory agent.

A diet rich in fish, vegetables such as flax, hemp, and others that provide ALA, and supplementing with a high-quality omega-3 fatty acids supplement, could provide your body with the nutrients vital to improving many areas of health, including oral health.

source = Kevin DiDonato