Treating gum disease reduced symptoms of prostate inflammation, called prostatitis, according to a new study. Previous studies have found a link between gum disease and prostatitis, a disease that inflames the gland that produces semen. Inflammation can make urination difficult.
Gum disease not only affects the mouth, but is a system-wide condition that can cause inflammation in various parts of the body. Dental research has previously found a link between gum disease and fetal deaths, rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease.
Researchers studied men, 21 years old and older. Each had had a needle biopsy within the past year that confirmed inflammation of the prostate gland, and a blood test that showed elevated prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels—possible signs of inflammation and cancer.
All the men had moderate to severe gum disease, for which they received treatment. They were tested again for periodontal disease four to eight weeks later and showed significant improvement. During the periodontal care, the men received no treatment for their prostate conditions. But even without prostate treatment, a majority of the men showed decreased levels of PSA. Those with the highest levels of inflammation benefited the most from the periodontal treatment.
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