Men, ignoring the health of your gums could be causing issues in the bedroom of achieving and maintaining an erection. These findings are from a study from the International Journal of Impotence, suggesting a significant association between chronic periodontitis (CP) and the risk of erectile dysfunction.
Chronic periodontitis or periodontal disease is a common bacterial-induced inflammatory disease characterized by chronic bacterial infection of gingival tissue leading to a progressive loss of dental connective tissue and bone support. It is considered a major cause of tooth loss in adults. Periodontal disease has also been linked to other health complications, such as heart disease and diabetes.
Chronic periodontitis’ effect on erectile dysfunction
Why would CP affect a man’s ability to perform sexually? Research has shown that periodontal disease may be associated with vascular disease, a common cause of erectile dysfunction. The factor linking the two is inflammation, even though no direct evidence exists that one disease causes the other. Further epidemiological studies are still needed to conclusively show that periodontal disease causes men to have erectile dysfunction.
There are a couple of key ways in which periodontal disease affects a man’s health and ability to achieve an erection:
It has been found that CP is associated with an increased incidence of cardiovascular disease. Part of that is that chronic periodontitis has also been associated with an increased level of systemic inflammation and endothelial dysfunction, conditions that are known to be causes of atherosclerosis and stroke. It is also known that men with cardiovascular disease have difficulties with erectile dysfunction.
Men who have inflammation of the prostate, called prostatitis, may also have higher rates of periodontal disease. Prostatitis inflames the prostate, the gland that produces semen. Prostatitis makes urination difficult and painful but is also an indirect cause of erectile dysfunction. A 2015 study found that treating gum disease may reduce the symptoms of prostatitis, which in turn could improve a man’s bedroom performance.
The key word throughout this message is inflammation. Periodontitis inflammation appears to be affecting more than just a guy’s gums.
Reducing chronic periodontitis to help erectile dysfunction
All men must know the signs and symptoms of periodontal disease:
- Gums that bleed or are swollen, red, or tender
- Receding gums
- Bad breath that is persistent or having bad taste in the mouth
- Teeth that have become loose
- Pus surrounding the teeth and gum
A good start in preventing periodontal disease is brushing your teeth in the morning and again at night before bed for two minutes and flossing. In addition, twice yearly visits to a dentist who can examine your gums and teeth and thorough cleaning by a dental hygienist are necessary to help catch any problems of periodontal disease in its early stages.
By keeping tabs on periodontal disease, a man may be able to prevent or greatly reduce any incidence of erectile dysfunction.
Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy. Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncology and prostate cancer 911.