Regular consumption of fish prevents dental caries to children’s teeth

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Illustration by Feri Fenoria

UNAIR NEWS – Dental caries is still a common problem in Indonesia. Based on Indonesian Ministry of Health 2018 data, Indonesian people with dental health problems reached 57.6%. Dental caries is an infectious disease in the oral cavity associated with dental tissue.

Consumption of cariogenic foods (high in carbohydrates, sticky and easy to chew, ed) causes bacterial activity in the oral cavity that triggers caries. Although it sounds trivial, attention should be given to caries and early prevention strategies is needed. One effort that can be done is to reduce the prevalence of caries and prevent cavities.

Prevention can also be done early in the fourth month of fetal growth during the tooth formation process. During this time, tooth enamel and dentin deposit structures will begin to form. The influence of teratogens and poor nutrition during pregnancy has a significant effect on the development of deciduous and young permanent teeth.

Based on several studies, the content of fish has been proven to increase the hardness and strength of tooth enamel. Through a research conducted by drg. Sandy Christiono, Sp.KGA with a lecturer from Faculty of Dental Medicine, UNAIR, Prof. Seno Pradopo drg., SU., Ph.D., Sp.KGA (K) and a lecturer from Faculty of Medicine UNAIR, Prof. Dr. I Ketut Sudiana Drs., M.Si., it was known that the consumption of fish is very beneficial for pregnant women and infants. “Marine fish are enriched with functional compounds, such as protein; fat; carotinoids; omega-3; fatty acids; vitamin A; vitamin D; calcium; potassium; manganese and phosphorus, “he said.

Beside the above Macronutrient components, other micronutrient components such as iodine; iron; zinc; and cobalt also greatly influences the development of teeth during pregnancy. “Fulfilling the nutritional needs can be done from several food sources, including marine fish,” he said.

Based on research, it turned out that teeth in children of coastal fishermen has strong tooth enamel. Proteinamelogenin has been shown to form tooth enamel while calicrein-4 functions as a protein degradation in the maturation stage of tooth enamel. Keep in mind, the three main factors that play an important role in caries are cariogenic microorganisms; cariogenic substrate and teeth. These factors interact when the balance of demineralization and remineralization on the tooth surface is disrupted.

Strong and hard milk tooth enamel can be a strategic step to prevent child dental caries. “The increase in strength and hardness of children’s milk teeth enamel will reduce the process of demineralization of tooth enamel,” he concluded. (*)

Author: Erika Eight Novanty

Editor: Nuri Hermawan

Reference: Sandy Christiono, Seno Pradopo, I Ketut Sudiana. 2019. The Effect of Saltwater Fish Consumption by Female House Mice (Mus Musculus) on the Increasing Teeth Enamel Density of Their Pups: MicroCT Analysis. Contents of JIDMR-2019-Vol.12–No.3 Link        :

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