Omega-3 and Dental Health (part 1 of 2)

Today I had my teeth cleaned and was told my gums were in excellent shape, better than ever before. They were less inflamed than usual. “What causes inflammation?” I asked. “Tartar,” I was told. I haven’t changed my cleaning habits. The only thing I have deliberately changed since my last cleaning is how much flaxseed oil I drink. At the time of my previous cleaning I was drinking about 1 tablespoon/day; now I drink 4 tablespoons/day. The person who commented about my gums doesn’t know about my omega-3 intake.

Omega-3 is believed to be anti-inflammatory, so it is quite plausible that the change in my omega-3 intake is what improved my gums. There have been a few studies of omega-3 and gum inflammation but none found impressive results. Weston Price emphasized that dental health and overall health go together. Lots of research connects gum disease and heart disease. The importance of omega-3s was first realized because of their effect on heart disease.

This research means better gums is very good news — for which I thank SLD-forum posters, who sparked my interest in omega-3.

28 Replies to “Omega-3 and Dental Health (part 1 of 2)”

  1. Congratulations. Is there room for improvement? Time for Dr. R. to start oil-pulling, maybe, for a next dental report of “no inflammation?” (Coconut Oil works great for me – talk about an amazing lack of tartar when doing it with CO!). Did you give OP a try after all the discussion on the SLD forums?

  2. I think there isn’t much room for improvement.

    I haven’t yet tried oil-pulling. The discussion was fascinating but I want to keep my life relatively constant when it comes to oil to improve the clarity of my omega-3 self-experiments.

  3. Hi Seth,

    I can’t remember if you’ve mentioned it elsewhere, but do you know roughly what % of your total calories are flaxseed oil? Thanks.

  4. Hmm, funny — seems to be getting cloudy out there today, Berkeley way. LOL

    one freckled hand
    half-hiding her smile—

  5. my dental hygenist has been asking me about why my teeth are so clean. i thought it was the different brand of green tea that i’ve been drinking, but maybe it’s the oil i’ve been taking.

  6. I can’t say; the connection (if it exists) just occurred to me when i read your post. during the period, as i recall, i took light olive oil, refined walnut, pine nut oil, virgin olive oil (w/nose clips) (not very consistently). I use to take 2 tablespoons Now, after reading your experiment with balance, i’ve settled on flax seed oil (w/ lignans), which, given the collateral effects that you’ve reported, i intend to take 3 tablespoons consistently.
    I’m thinking that it may not make much difference which oil is taken, altho i would think that one oil probably works better than others. I’ve just read about oil pulling, and i’m going to start doing that. I’m religious about my teeth; in the past i scheduled cleaning every 3 months, now i’m at 4-5 months; i’d like to move it to six and hope that oil pulling will do that.

  7. Consuming oil (I take several including ELOO, macadamia nut oil, flax seed oil, coconut oil, avocado oil) has been beneficial for appetite control (normalizing) and fat loss, per SLD, for me since December 2006. I’m sure it has had unexpected added benefits in a number of other ways, perhaps not immediately measurable or noticeable, including antioxidant effects (omega 3s, etc.) brain function, skin, hair, heart and dental health conditions.

    Peter, oil pulling (I use coconut oil), for oral health, in my experience, makes an immediate noticeable difference: extremely reduced in amount of plaque, a continual freshness of breath, healthy, supple pink gums (they don’t bleed even when using a metal dental pick), less coating on the tongue, etc. I know coconut oil has antibiotic properties, which apparantly contribute to the health of the tissues and teeth. I’ve not had a trip to the dentist since I started oil pulling, but I can personally attest to those benefits in one person’s experience.

    Most recently I am using flax seed oil in a personal recipe I concocted for its external use on my skin. I have rosacea, and I’ve read that flax seed oil is beneficial for the condition. My skin, once oily, has become very dry and scaly from facial rosacea, aging, low-thyroid, sun damage and possibly, effects of heart medications. With all that in mind, I mixed the oil with several other ingredients known to be beneficial for the skin, including idebenone powder and hyaluronic acid. It has been like a miracle for me — much different than using over the counter lotions and oils — for the first time in years, my skin once again has the moisture and oil it needs to be healthy, supple and soft. I still have rosacea, which is possibly a vascular condition, but the scaling that occurs on my skin isn’t apparant. The skin texture has quickly become amazingly like baby skin. I use it full body. I’m not sure if other oils besides flax seed oil would have the same effect, since I’ve not experimented beyond the one oil, yet.

  8. I feel I have a pretty good ear for truth. So when I heard of oil pulling I tried it, seemed logical. The first time I gagged tried again, same response. The third time, same day did it for 10 minutes, teeth were lighter the whites of my eyes lighter, dark circles under eyes lighter. By the third time I did it , on average I now do it every 3 days, my nails stronger no breakage, cuticles have no dry skin around them, no bad breath, skin less dry not using lotion except face prior to make-up, no plaque on teeth, no build up after eating, bump on top of head seems a little I see more results the next day. I use eye whitener and crest stripes for my teeth afterwards and they do 3x the job they did before. I give it the thumbs up. I’m a nurse assistant in a hospital and looking at most the elderly they are dehydrated from lack of oil I can tell it from their toenails (dry looking and fungal, cracked) also their bowel movements are not regular after usually 3 days of no movement they’ll pile in the hospital the solution I find that is inexpensive and actually good for you is drinking coconut oil. I know it goes against what your told but coconut oil is good for cardiovascular. I use two large tablespoons in my coffee with carnation french vanilla cream to taste, take the day off it will clean you out and I do about 3 cups a day like this. I repeat whenever I don’t void in under 1 minute. That’s how well it works

  9. Hi Seth

    It was enlighting to read about the effect of flaxseed oil on gum health. I take 500mgs of fish oil a day to get my omega 3s would this improve gum health like flax seed oil?

    I know the fish oik is good for eye health as we age, the main reson I take it.

  10. The thing I can’t get around is eating oil. It’s just icky. Swallowing the tablespoons of oil just makes me queasy and the taste ain’t all that great either. I was messing more with hemp oil than flax, and it’s like drinking oily grass. Plus there’s the whole mouth coated in oil thing that’s a little nasty. But, looking at the oil pulling stuff, maybe I should reconsider that. Perhaps something that would be good to do before bed? Is it good to have the oil sitting in the mouth?

  11. I looked up more information on oil pulling when I read these posts and found some good info on exactly how to do it at this site Although the person who wrote the article recommend oils other than coconut oil, I certainly can’t see why you wouldn’t use it. It’s certainly great for you otherwise.

  12. Just found this blog after searching for ways to heal inflamed gums. Exactly how do you Oil Pull with Coconut Oil and what’s the best CO out there. At bedtime is good or bad to coat your gums with CO and leave it on all night?

  13. Seth, are you saying to just swallow 2-3 tbsps per day, is there a particular brand, does it need to be Organic OR do you mean Oil Pull ? I Have been using the VCO for a few days and it’s not doing anything.

  14. i’ve found oil pulling with coconut useful. chia seed is also good source of omega 3, and it doesnt have the same issues of rancidity that flax seed can. personally i use green pasture femented fish oils – but not everyone might like that. i recently read the connection between gum health and q10. so i thought i might add the q10 thing in! declines after 30 🙂

  15. i also noticed there was a guy called dom who made a tooth paste that would form a film to protect your teeth from the acidity of cultured food – and i now wonder if that was cocnut oil. and that oil pulling would help leave a protective film on your teeth

  16. Hi,

    I’ve recently come across the overall benefits of oil pulling. I have self-diagnosed myself to having periodontal disease. I just recently came back from the dentist who used up all of my insurance money for a root canal. He told me that I have a receding gum line and suggested that I brush my teeth in a more gentle manner. (NO mention of periodontal disease at all!) Now I cannot go to a periodontist for a more professional opinion due to my lack of funds.

    I am convinced that I have gum disease. Does anyone know of a natural way to reverse periodontal disease and stimulate gum re-growth? Is oil-pulling an effective solution? Does the type of oil matter? I recently came across an article suggesting that Omega 3 fish oil is excellent for oral health.

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