A new study by the University of Kentucky, USA, has found that omega-3 can help fight against mouth bacteria, and therefore boost oral hygiene; this is on top of omega-3 anti-inflammatory benefits in the mouth. The study, sponsored by the US National Institute of Health and published in Molecular Oral Microbiology, found that EPA, DHA and ALA can hinder the growth of several bacteria often present in the mouth, including Streptococcus mutans, Candida albicans, and Porphyromanas gingivalis. It also revealed, however, that EPA and ALA had a much stronger antibacterial effect than DHA.
This study is the first of its kind, and is likely to spark a series of further research into the antibacterial properties of omega-3 for mouth health. Indeed, it has been suggested that these findings might even be translated into products, such as omega-3 enriched chewing gum. Who knows, perhaps in a few years toothpaste and mouthwash will be imbued with this bacteria-killing ingredient?