Scientists are making leaps and bounds when it comes to understanding dental health– particularly the growing connection seen between gum inflammation and systemic disease. More and more links are being found between gum inflammation (periodontitis) and major health problems like rheumatoid arthritis, alzheimers, and cardiovascular disease.
Well, the connections keep coming. Eugene OR dentist, Dr. Feldmanis, heard recently of a new study that possibly links prostate problems to periodontitis.
The prostate connection
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine, with the Departments of Urology and Pathology at the University Hospital, held a study to see if treating periodontitis would indirectly affect prostate health in men.
For the study, scientists recruited 27 men, all with mild to severe prostate inflammation as well as mild to severe gum inflammation. For the duration of the study, only their periodontal symptoms were treated. Participants’ progress was assessed at eight and then 10 weeks of the study.
What the scientists found was that all but six of the study participants showed improvement not only in the state of their gum health, but in their prostate health as well– inflammation subsided significantly in both. Participants with the most severe forms of inflammation experienced the greatest overall improvement.
The outlook from here
Like all research, scientists will need to be able to replicate this study’s findings before moving forward with the assumption that what they have found is fact. However, researchers are hopeful that if the link between gum and prostate inflammation is real, this research will provide a valuable aid to health workers.
Prostatitis– inflammation of the prostate– can lead to urinary problems, pelvic discomfort, and prostate cancer. Additionally, it affects young and middle-aged men; two demographics that may be somewhat less health conscious than others, meaning that health problems can at times go unnoticed or unchecked.
If there is a connection between prostate inflammation and gum inflammation, dentists who spot periodontal disease in their male patients can refer that patient to a urologist to screen their prostate health as well, thus preventing advanced forms of prostate disease. Of course, the opposite is also true; patients found to have prostate inflammation would be referred to a dentist.
Make the connection with your Eugene OR dentist
The oral-systemic health connection is a fascinating one, and it can play an important role in improving community health as we learn more about how preventative dental care can really make a world of difference!
Preventative dental care starts with you: brush twice daily, floss at least once, and make regular dental check ups every six months. When you see Dr. Feldmanis regularly, she’s able to keep close watch on your mouth and can stop small problems before they grow to be big ones!
Call to schedule your next appointment today!
Photo Credit: Yuri Yu. Samoilov via Compfight cc