Successful treatment of periodontitis, or gum disease, can have numerous positive health benefits throughout the body, as we’ve reported previously. A new study by researchers from Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine has found that treating gum disease reduced symptoms of prostate inflammation, called prostatitis. Publishing in Dentistry, the research provides further evidence of periodontitis as a disease which not only affects the mouth, but operates as a system-wide condition that affects various parts of the body.
The study’s lead author, Nabil Bissada, said: “This study shows that if we treat the gum disease, it can improve the symptoms of prostatitis and the quality of life for those who have the disease.” The study involved 27 men who had both prostatitis, an inflammation that can make urinating difficult, and also periodontitis. The men were assessed for symptoms of prostate disease by answering questions on the International-Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) test about their quality of life and possible urination issues.
All of the men were treated for their moderate to severe gum disease but not for their prostate conditions. They were tested again for periodontal disease four to eight weeks later and showed significant improvement and even without prostate treatment, 21 of the 27 men showed decreased levels of PSA. Those with the highest levels of inflammation benefited the most from the periodontal treatment.
Bissada now hopes that that follow-up research will help make periodontal treatment a standard part of treating prostate disease, in the same manner that cardiac patients are encouraged to make dental visits before undergoing treatment.