FRIDAY, May 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Treating gum disease may help reduce symptoms of prostate inflammation, which can make urination difficult, a small study suggests.
Previous research has shown a link between gum disease and prostate inflammation -- called prostatitis.
The study included 27 men, age 21 and older, who had prostatitis and moderate to severe gum disease. The men underwent treatment for gum disease and showed significant improvement in their gums within four to eight weeks, the study authors said.
The men received no treatment for their prostatitis, but symptoms of the condition improved in 21 of 27 of them after their gum disease was treated, according to the study published recently in the journal Dentistry.
"This study shows that if we treat the gum disease, it can improve the symptoms of prostatitis and the quality of life for those who have the disease," corresponding author Dr. Nabil Bissada, chair of periodontics at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, said in a university news release.
Gum disease affects more than the mouth. It also can cause inflammation in other parts of the body, Bissada said. Previous research at Case Western had found a link between gum disease and fetal deaths, heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis, the researchers said.
Bissada said he wants to make gum disease treatment a standard part of treatment for prostate disease, much like dental checkups are advised before heart surgery or for women who are pregnant or considering pregnancy.
The U.S. National Institutes of Health explains how to prevent gum disease.