Ashland, OR – For many years now, we’ve known about the unique link between gum disease and other ailments such as increased risk of heart disease. A new discovery points to the likelihood that treating gum disease may also lessen symptoms of prostate inflammation.

“Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine recently released research that this may be the case,” says Ashland dentist Dr. Aron Kivel. “In the report, participants who suffered from prostatitis experienced fewer symptoms while also seeking periodontal (gum) treatment.” 

This isn’t the first time the correlation between the two have been studied. Previous research also proved the link between prostatitis and gum disease, but this new study shows proves the effectiveness of treatment in helping patients with prostatitis.  For those with inflammation of the prostate, urinating can be painful and laborious.  27 men with both prostate inflammation and gum disease were studied and after gum disease treatment. Even though these men received treatment for their gum disease only and not for their prostate issue, most showed significant improvement. Specifically, 21 of the 27 participants displayed decreased prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels, which indicate a lessened likelihood of inflammation. Men with the highest levels of inflammation also exhibited the most improvement following periodontal treatment.

So How are the Two Linked?

Gum disease develops when plaque and calculus isn’t properly removed and with time, the bacteria can spread and grow below the gum line. This toxic bacteria can then stimulate a chronic inflammatory response in which the body in essence turns on itself, and the tissues and bone that support the teeth are broken down and destroyed. If left untreated, the bacteria can also spread to the bone, causing further infection and possible bone loss.

Our bodies’ systems are intimately related. The bacteria that cause periodontitis can travel to other organs of the body. While a definitive answer has not been reached for why gum disease is linked to so many other issues, inflammation is the strong common denominator.

Research continues to be conducted around the world exploring the link between gum disease and other serious medical issues, but the consensus is obvious – even without an exact reason why, the evidence points to the fact that periodontitis has an effect on your body as a whole. Undergoing proper treatment for gum disease can very well improve people’s overall health and well-being.

You can prevent gum disease before it becomes and issue by following a thorough home hygiene routine which includes daily brushing and flossing, and regular check ups at your dental office. Because periodontitis is often painless, you might not even be aware you have it until it is too late. By discovering and treating gum disease as soon as possible, your dentist can lessen its effect on your gum health as well as the rest of your body. If you’d like a thorough evaluation of your own gum health, make an appointment with us today.