Why protecting gum health prevents erectile dysfunction

senior flossing teeth while looking in the mirror

Poor dental care in men can harm their health beyond a toothache. One way is that a man’s sexual performance can be impacted by gum disease, resulting in erectile dysfunction (ED).

Many men need to pay more attention to their dental hygiene to reduce their risk of ED. Less than 50% of men brush twice daily and are 26% less likely to floss daily than women. Neglecting dental care can ultimately lead to poor gum health and periodontal disease, which increases the risk of infections and inflammation of the gums and bones that support teeth. 

Men with gum disease may develop other health problems

Current research indicates that men with periodontal disease may face an increased risk of developing other systemic health conditions. Chronic inflammation, specifically in the oral cavity, has been identified as a potential link to the onset of such health issues as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and impotence. Good oral hygiene and prompt treatment for oral health concerns can prevent related conditions.

It is important to note that while poor dental hygiene may not be the sole cause of erectile dysfunction (ED), it can often serve as an early indicator of underlying health issues that may lead to ED. Oral health problems stemming from inadequate dental hygiene can present themselves as initial symptoms of a more serious underlying health condition that may ultimately result in erectile dysfunction. Proper oral hygiene is imperative as part of a comprehensive approach to safeguarding overall health and preventing ED.

Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory infection of the gingival tissue linked to other diseases. Notably, it increases the risk of developing heart disease as inflammation of the arterial walls occurs throughout all stages of the disease. Further, heart disease has been identified as one of the causative factors of erectile dysfunction. 

Fortunately, there is good news for men. Recent studies have shown that maintaining proper oral hygiene may positively impact erectile function. The correlation between poor oral health and erectile dysfunction has been well documented. However, emerging research has suggested that diligent oral care routines, such as regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups, could potentially improve symptoms of erectile function. This finding highlights the potential value of proper oral hygiene for oral and overall health and sexual health.

A 2021systemic review and meta-analysis found a significant association liking periodontal disease and erectile dysfunction. Another smaller study from Turkey found that young men in their thirties who had inflamed gums from severe periodontal disease tripled the likelihood of experiencing erectile dysfunction. These findings suggest that men who take care of their oral health could be an essential step in maintaining their overall sexual wellness.

 Signs of gum disease

If you experience any pain in your mouth, gums, or teeth or notice any of the following signs, it’s important to consult your dentist immediately. 

* Gums that bleed

* Gums that look red or discolored. Typically, healthy gums are pink

* Gums that are ‘soft;’ Healthy gums are firm 

* Gums that are swollen, puffy, sore, or tender

* Bad breath

* Gums that have pus

* Feeling pain when chewing food or brushing teeth

* Gums that are receding

Steps for Maintaining Healthy Gums 

Preventing periodontitis is possible mainly by following a consistent oral hygiene routine, including brushing, flossing, and rinsing twice daily and scheduling regular check-ups with the dentist. Maintaining healthy oral hygiene is crucial for overall health. Here are some tips to help you achieve it:

  1. Brush Twice a Day

Brushing your gums is just as necessary as brushing your teeth. For proper use of an electric toothbrush, hold the bristles at a 45-degree angle towards your gum line. Use a gentle hand gliding the brush along your teeth and gums. Remember to apply light pressure and let the brush do most of the work.

  1. Floss Teeth Twice a Day

It is essential to avoid neglecting flossing as it can cause gum disease. To avoid creating an environment that harbors bacteria leading to gum disease, removing food particles and plaque from between your teeth is imperative. Gum disease is also a significant factor in tooth loss, and bleeding gums are often a result of a buildup of plaque at the gum line.

  1. Use Mouthwash

Using mouthwash twice a day can do more than reduce plaque by rinsing with a fluoridated mouthwash. Men can also enhance their oral health, breath, and achieve a brighter smile. 

  1. See a Dentist and Dental hygienist every six months

Investing in visits to the dentist and a dental hygienist can improve men’s oral health significantly. They will be able to diagnose and treat gum disease accurately and provide personalized oral care plans to help men maintain a healthy smile for years to come. 

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. 



Why protecting gum health prevents erectile dysfunction
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Dr. David Samadi