Boston University scientists say that gums can be restored to normal health and that periodontal inflammation can be resolved by consuming a newly discovered family of biologically active products of omega-3 fatty acids.
The researchers point out that oil from fish contains eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), both of which are omega-3 fatty acids.
They underscore the fact that these omega-3 fatty acids are often used to help people with various inflammatory conditions.
In a previous study, the researchers have already found that compounds derived from EPA provide protection against soft tissue and bone loss associated with gum disease, and restore the lost soft tissue and bone to healthy levels.
In their latest study, the Boston researchers conducted experiments to test the actions of compounds biosynthesized from DHA in regulating tissue destruction and resolution of inflammation in gum disease.
For their study, the researchers used the bacteria that cause human gum disease to stimulate a condition characterized by tissue inflammation and bone loss in rabbits.
The researchers found that compounds belonging to the two categories showed similar results in resolving periodontal inflammation and tissue regeneration.
These findings attain significance as the prevention of periodontal disease has been limited to successful oral hygiene and regular professional care to date, and despite such preventive actions, in susceptible individuals with a high inflammatory response, plaque control is not enough to prevent disease.
The Boston team made a presentation on their findings at the 87th General Session of the International Association for Dental Research.