One of the biggest questions about gum disease is not just whether it’s linked to the health of the rest of your body (we know it is), but whether treating gum disease actually improves health in these other areas. We’ve seen it for heart disease, and now, it seems, it’s true for prostate health.
People often forget that gum disease is a chronic infection that has inflammation as one of its effects. This inflammation can lead to problems elsewhere in the body, like the heart, and the prostate.
To show that reducing gum disease inflammation would also reduce the effects of prostate inflammation (prostatitis), researchers looked at 27 men 21 or older. All men had severe to moderate gum disease. Prostatitis was confirmed in three ways: a needle biopsy, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, and a survey. The survey, known as the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS), assesses the quality of life-related to prostate symptoms, such as effects on urination.
The men received gum disease treatment. Their gum condition and their prostate health was reassessed after four to 8 weeks. Gum’s condition showed improvement.
None of the subjects received any treatment for their prostate conditions, but 21 of the 27 men showed decreased levels of PSA. And all men showed improvement in their IPSS results.
This initial study is small, but the results are promising. The hope is that future studies will confirm the connection that just treating gum disease can provide significant improvement in prostatitis. If so, it will give us another option to treat this painful condition that can significantly impact a man’s quality of life, in addition to his sexual health.
If you would like to learn more about the impact of gum disease on your chronic health or get gum disease treatment, please call (310) 275-5325 for an appointment with a Beverly Hills periodontist at Nicolas A. Ravon, DDS, MSD.