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27 April 2010
Prostatitis and gum disease linked?
by George Atkinson

Medicos from Case Western Reserve University say that something outside the prostate gland could be causing the inflammatory reaction that is known as prostatitis and periodontal disease may be the culprit. Their hypothesis, appearing in the Journal of Periodontology, is based on a small sample of men whose gum disease and prostate problems appear to be linked. The conditions are similar. Like prostatitis, periodontitis also produces high inflammation levels.

To arrive at their findings, 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. Patients with healthy prostate glands have lower than 4.0ng/ml levels. A CAL number greater than 2.7 mm indicates periodontitis.

"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 at Case. 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.

The 35 participants in the study were selected from patients at the University Hospitals Case Medical Center with mild to severe prostatitis, who had undergone needle biopsies and were found to have inflammation.

The participants were divided into two groups: those with high PSA levels for moderate or severe prostatitis or a malignancy and those with PSA levels below 4 ng/ml. All had not had dental work done for at least three months and were given an examination to measure the gum health. Looking at the results, the researchers found those with the most severe form of the prostatitis also showed signs for periodontitis.

Related:
Half Male Population Will Experience Prostatitis
Prostatitis
Prostatitis as prevalent in teens as older men

Source: Case Western Reserve University




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