Another Potential Oral/Systemic Health Connection: Prostatitis.

Dr. Jennifer McLeod is the dentist Newberg Oregon chooses first for a host of reasons, and one of them is her commitment to whole-body health. We at Newberg Family Dental are well aware of the growing body of research drawing connections between your oral health and the health of the rest of your body.

So far, scientists believe that inflammation in the mouth, such as the inflammation seen in periodontitis (gum disease) may be the element in common with cardiovascular problems, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s, and more. With so much at stake, researchers are working internationally to track down these links and find ways to improve both oral and systemic health.

And they’ve found another connection, as well as a potential cure. Read more to learn about periodontitis and prostatitis.

Prostatitis basics

Like other -itis complaints, prostatitis means inflammation– of the prostate. The prostate is a humble gland, located beneath the bladder, and its job is producing seminal fluid. Having an inflamed prostate is a fairly common condition.

Inflammation can take place in men of all ages, and while mild inflammation may go unnoticed the condition is certainly uncomfortable as it gets worse– causing pain, urinary discomfort, and difficulty urinating. Worse yet, medical researchers believe that prolonged inflammation may lead to prostate cancer.

Evidence of prostate and periodontal connection

Fueled by previous findings linking chronic inflammation with other health problems, scientists at the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine decided to apply the question to periodontitis and the prostate.

The researchers chose 27 participants, age 21 or older, who had been found to have both prostate inflammation and periodontitis. They then treated their study subjects for periodontitis alone– no measures were taken to correct their prostatitis whatsoever.

The astonishing results revealed that all but 6 participants experienced not only reduced gum inflammation but reduced prostate inflammation too. This outcome strongly suggests that there may be a connection between the two incidents of inflammation, and hopefully a cure may be interrelated as well!

Further study

More studies will show if these results can be replicated. If the connection proves to be a real one, researchers are hopeful that health care professionals will be able to prevent prostatitis based on gum health findings; dentists can refer men with periodontitis to a urologist, for example.

Preventing gum disease is the most certain approach to maintaining great oral health, and it may protect your heart, prostate, or brain as well. Daily oral hygiene and regular visits to Newberg Family Dental every 6 months are the best ways to keep your mouth healthy– schedule your next appointment today!

 Photo Credit: arileu via Compfight cc

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