Prostatitis is a disease that affects one’s prostate gland and that can result in pain during urination, significant groin discomfort, abdominal pain, lower back pain, discomfort in the perineum, and penile and testicular pain as well. Prostatitis is also associated with the onset of a high fever, gastrointestinal difficulties, and chills in some cases too. The general causes cited for the onset of prostatitis include immune system difficulties, disorders of the nervous system, emotional stress, injury to the prostate, and infection. Now, recent research published in the Journal of Periodontology suggests that there is a significant connection between periodontitis and prostatitis.Before examining the link between prostatitis and periodontitis, let’s explore what chronic periodontitis is and its symptoms. Periodontitis or gum disease is caused by plaque build up on the teeth and around the gums. This plaque build up will eventually harden, in as little as two to three days time, and remain on the teeth and around one’s gum line. The plaque consists of bacteria that cause the gums to become inflamed, to swell, to become sore or tender, and when gingivitis sets in, one’s teeth can bleed when touched or brushed. Periodontitis is an extreme form of gum disease that can harm gum tissue, that can injure or harm bone, and that can loosen teeth and cause them to fall out over time. This condition has already been linked to heart conditions, and now it is being linked to some cases of prostatitis too. When a man has gum disease he often has elevated levels of a substance identified as prostate specific antigens (PSAs). The prostate gland contains epithelial cells that, in turn, create PSA. The prostate specific antigens are inflammatory markers which are at elevated levels in the body, if and when there is either a prostate malignancy or inflammation.
The study published in the Journal of Periodontology involved 35 male patients who had recently had a biopsy performed on their prostates due to elevated PSA levels or due to the identification of a malignancy. The same men were also checked for symptoms associated with periodontitis or gum disease. The testing for periodontitis involved a full examination of the condition of the gums, a check for bleeding of the gums, and for signs of gum disease. The end result of the study found that the men that had both prostatitis and periodontitis had significantly higher PSA levels than those men that either had prostatitis or periodontitis alone.
In essence, research has now revealed that when a man has periodontal disease he can worsen a condition like prostatitis and that gum disease contributes to the severity of prostatitis. Gum disease is absolutely preventable if a person partakes of excellent oral hygiene practices. If gum disease occurs, the condition can be treated too, and the sooner such a condition is treated the better. Getting quality care for gum disease cannot only vastly improve one’s oral health, but it can reduce the likelihood that one will develop complications with heart conditions or, as it is the case with men, it can minimize the severity of prostatitis and/or help prevent its onset.
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