Prostatitis and Dental Disease

Periodontitis is an extreme form of gum disease that can harm gingival tissues, 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. Periodontal disease is the name for bacterial infections of the gums in the mouth. Periodontitis, or Pyorrhea, is a disease involving inflammation of the gums, often persisting unnoticed for years or decades in a patient, that results in loss of bone around teeth.

The treatment of periodontal disease begins with the removal of sub-gingival calculus (tartar). This is commonly addressed by the surgical procedures known as root planing and scaling. These procedures debride calculus by mechanically scraping it from tooth surfaces. Dental calculus, commonly known as tartar, consists almost entirely of calcium phosphate salt, the ionic derivative of calcium phosphate (the primary composition of teeth and bone). Clinically, calculus stuck to teeth appears to be hardened to the point requiring mechanical scraping for removal.

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. Prostatitis is difficult to diagnose and treat, and has a wide range of debilitating and troublesome side affects. Unlike prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), prostatitis often affects the lives of young and middle-aged men.

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.

Studies done at Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine and University Hospitals Case Medical Center showed results from a small group that inflammation from periodontal disease and prostate problems may 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. 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. 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 gingival inflammation. 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.