The Health of Your Gums May Effect Male Impotence Risk
30th November 2016
mouthMany health experts have long associated erectile dysfunction and gum disease, with the former apparently being more commonly found in men suffering with the latter, and new research into existing studies has backed this up. The authors’ state that chronic bacterial infection of the gums, or periodontitis, is common and a major cause of tooth loss seen in adults. The condition has often been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and general inflammation, which have then been closely linked to stroke and hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). Hardening of the arteries have commonly been thought of playing a role in male impotence problems. “In our opinion, the actual biological mechanism of ED in periodontitis patients remains poorly understood,” commented senior author Dr Zhigang Zhao of The First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University in China. “It might still be too early to suggest that men with ED should have their teeth checked; and that men with chronic periodontitis should worry about their sexual function,' Zhao added. “However, it might be beneficial to inform patients with chronic periodontitis about its association with ED.” Five previous studies from between 2009 and 2014 were analysed to form their findings, which included one randomised controlled trial. In total, the five studies comprised of 213,000 people between the ages of 20 and 80. Every study came to the same conclusion; that ED was more prominent in those men also being treated for chronic periodontitis, especially for those younger than the age of 40 and older than 59. The researchers took into account diabetes - which can play a role in both gum disease and sexual function – and discovered that ED was in fact 2.28 times more common for men with periodontitis than for men gum problems. “Since chronic periodontitis had been linked with several chronic disorders, it is sensible to recommend daily inter-dental cleaning to reduce dental plaque and gingival inflammation,” Zhao said in the report, published in the International Journal of Impotence Research. “Chronic periodontitis treatment can control or eliminate inflammation and may reduce the risk of ED.” A 2013 study concluded that treating periodontitis alleviates erectile dysfunction symptoms. “Furthermore, clinicians should be aware of the potential role played by periodontitis disease in the development of erectile dysfunction,” Zhao said. There were some limitations involved in analysis of the five studies, such as ED and chronic periodontitis being caused by similar risk factors like aging, smoking, diabetes mellitus and coronary artery disease. Moreover, most of the studies did not take into account smoking or alcohol consumption, which can impact oral health and sexual function, the authors write, adding that the evidence linking periodontitis and ED is limited.