There are so many reasons to love living here in Anchorage, Alaska. From the plethora of hiking and biking trails to all the wildlife viewing opportunities—it’s a nature lover’s paradise. Anchorage is also a hub spot for fishing. Our very own Dr. Kendal Skinner regularly goes fishing in the area with his family. Not only does he love the sport, but also the delicious seafood that comes with it. Fortunately, fish offers a lot of health benefits for your whole body as well as your oral health. Explore some of the reasons you should incorporate more fish into your diet.

Dr. Kendall Skinner with his family, catching fish in Anchorage

The Health Benefits of Eating Fish

fresh Alaskan fish caught by Dr. Kendall SkinnerOne of the reasons Dr. Skinner loves fishing so much is that it provides his family with a healthy diet. Alaska is the only state that allows dip fishing (fishing with a long-handled fishing net up to five feet in diameter) and it’s one of Dr. Skinner’s favorite fishing techniques. During one summer, Dr. Skinner and his family caught 135 fish (salmon or hooligan) in three hours with dip fishing.

This provided them with lots of healthy fish to eat for months to come.

Whether you’re also an avid fisherman like Dr. Skinner or you just enjoy seafood, you’re in for a lot of health benefits.

Here are some of the health benefits of eating fish:

  • Boosts brain health
  • Lowers risk of strokes and heart attack
  • Good source of vitamin A
  • Reduced risk of autoimmune diseases
  • May prevent asthma in children
  • Improves vision and hearing health
  • Improved quality of sleep
  • Reduces risk of Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Reduces symptoms of depression
  • Good source of vitamin D
  • Fights acne
  • Alleviates rheumatoid arthritis
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Decreases risk of heart failure
  • Lowers risk of cancer
  • Speeds up metabolism
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Increases attention span and concentration
  • Helps athletes recover faster
  • Alleviates PMS symptoms
  • Helps to treat liver disease

This is just scraping the surface of the health benefits of eating fish. Start incorporating it into your diet to start reaping the benefits. The FDA recommends eating at least 8 ounces of seafood per week. 

Studies Prove that Fatty Fish and Nuts Can Help Prevent Gum Disease

Not only is eating fish good for your overall health, but it can also have a positive impact on your oral health. A study found that diets high in polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) reduced the risk of periodontitis.

According to the study, those who followed a diet rich in PUFA were 30% less likely to experience periodontitis than those who ate little to no PUFA.

High levels of PUFA are typically found in fish or nuts. The fish with the highest levels of PUFA include:

  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Trout
  • Mackerel
  • Sardines
  • Herring

If you’re not a fan of seafood, don’t worry. There are plenty of other foods that contain PUFA that aren’t from the ocean.

High PUFA foods include:

  • Safflower oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Corn oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Margarine made with the previously mentioned oils
  • Almonds
  • Pine nuts
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Brazil nuts
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Flax seeds

How to Prevent Gum Disease

Anchorage dentist Dr. Kendall Skinner with a large Alaskan fishGum disease is a common dental issue for many Anchorage folks. When gum tissue pulls away from a tooth, it forms a pocket. This pocket is a warm, moist place for bacteria to flourish. If periodontitis goes untreated, the tooth and jaw bone are at risk. During dental examinations, Dr. Skinner carefully measures gumline pockets and examines all teeth for gum disease.

The possible prevention of gum disease is not the only reason to eat high PUFA foods. These foods pack a nutritional punch and have myriad health benefits. The next time you are stocking up at the Anchorage Costco, you may want to add some salmon and walnuts to your list.

It is important to understand that diet alone will not treat or prevent gum disease, however, it may be an additional tool for maintaining healthy teeth and gums.

Instead of focusing on your diet, focus on your oral hygiene routine instead. For best results, brush twice a day, floss once per day, and visit our dental office every six months for a cleaning and exam. During your appointments, we remove plaque and bacteria from under the gum line which helps prevent gum disease. It also gives us an opportunity to treat early signs of gum disease if we notice them. The sooner we’re able to treat gum disease, the less damage it will cause and the easier your treatment will be.

Get Gum Disease Treatment in Anchorage, AK

If you notice any signs of gum disease like bleeding, swollen gums, don’t let it go untreated. Whether you’re overdue for a dental cleaning or you suspect you have gum disease, please contact our Anchorage dental office to book an appointment by calling (907) 349-0022.