Adjunctive treatment of chronic periodontitis with daily dietary supplementation with omega-3 Fatty acids and low-dose aspirin

J Periodontol. 2010 Nov;81(11):1635-43. doi: 10.1902/jop.2010.090628. Epub 2010 Jun 23.


Background: Host modulatory therapy has been proposed as a treatment for periodontal diseases. Omega-3 (ω-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), including docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), were shown to have therapeutic anti-inflammatory and protective actions in inflammatory diseases including periodontitis. The goal of this study was to test an innovative strategy for periodontal treatment in a clinical experiment.

Methods: Eighty healthy subjects (40 in each group) with advanced chronic periodontitis were enrolled in Mansoura, Egypt, in a parallel-design, double-masked clinical study. The control group was treated with scaling and root planing (SRP) and a placebo, whereas the ω-3 group was treated with SRP followed by dietary supplementation of fish oil (900 mg EPA + DHA) and 81 mg aspirin daily. Saliva samples were obtained from all patients at baseline and 3 and 6 months for evaluation of receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappa B ligand (RANKL) and matrix metalloproteinase-8 (MMP-8). Plaque and gingival indices, bleeding on probing, probing depths, and attachment levels were recorded at the same time points.

Results: Statistical analyses demonstrated a significant reduction in probing depths and a significant attachment gain after 3 and 6 months in the ω-3 group compared to baseline and the control group (P <0.05). Salivary RANKL and MMP-8 levels showed significant reductions in the ω-3 group in response to treatment at 3 and 6 months and compared to the control group at 6 months (P <0.01). Supplementation with ω-3 + aspirin resulted in a significant shift in the frequency of pockets with probing depths <4 mm (P <0.05).

Conclusion: The results of this preliminary clinical study suggest that dietary supplementation with ω-3 PUFAs and 81 mg aspirin may provide a sustainable, low-cost intervention to augment periodontal therapy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / administration & dosage*
  • Aspirin / administration & dosage*
  • Chronic Periodontitis / therapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Dental Plaque Index
  • Dental Scaling
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids / therapeutic use
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid / therapeutic use
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gingival Hemorrhage / therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 8 / analysis
  • Middle Aged
  • Periodontal Attachment Loss / therapy
  • Periodontal Index
  • Periodontal Pocket / therapy
  • Placebos
  • RANK Ligand / analysis
  • Root Planing
  • Saliva / chemistry
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Placebos
  • RANK Ligand
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid
  • MMP8 protein, human
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 8
  • Aspirin