Inflammation From Gum Disease And Prostate Problems

Prostatitis is swelling and inflammation of the prostate gland, a walnut-sized gland located directly below the bladder in men. The prostate gland produces fluid (semen) that nourishes and transports sperm. Prostatitis often causes painful or difficult urination. Other symptoms of prostatitis include pain in the groin, pelvic area or genitals, and sometimes, flu-like symptoms.
 
Prostatitis can be caused by a number of different things. If it's caused by a bacterial infection, it can usually be treated successfully. However, sometimes prostatitis isn't caused by a bacterial infection or a cause is never identified.
 
Depending on the cause, prostatitis may come on gradually or suddenly. It may get better quickly, either on its own or with treatment. Some types of prostatitis last for months or more or keep recurring (chronic prostatitis).
 
Researchers from Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine and University Hospitals Case Medical Center report initial results from a small sample that inflammation from gum disease and prostate problems just might be linked. They discuss their new evidence in the Journal of Periodontology, the official journal of the American Academy of Periodontology. 
 
The researchers compared two markers: the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) used to measure inflammation levels in prostate disease, and clinical attachment level (CAL) of the gums and teeth, which can be an indicator for periodontitis. 
 
A PSA elevation of 4.0 ng/ml in the blood can be a sign of inflammation or malignancy. Patients with healthy prostate glands have lower than 4.0ng/ml levels. A CAL number greater than 2.7 mm indicates periodontitis. 
 
Like prostatitis, periodontitis also produces high inflammation levels. 
 
"Subjects with both high CAL levels and moderate to severe prostatitis have higher levels of PSA or inflammation," stated Nabil Bissada, chair of the department of periodontics in the dental school. 
 
Bissada added that this might explain why PSA levels can be high in prostatitis, but sometimes cannot be explained by what is happening in the prostate glands. 
 
"It is something outside the prostate gland that is causing an inflammatory reaction," he said. 
 
Because periodontitis has been linked to heart disease, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, the researchers felt a link might exist to prostate disease. 
 
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