A man wishing to maintain a healthy sex life should be sure to take good care of his teeth, says a new study.
A man with a sparking smile can certainly lure the ladies, but a gentleman wishing to maintain his sex life should hold on to his toothbrush, according to a new study, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, that finds a correlation between gum disease and erectile dysfunction.
Researchers at the University of Malatya in Turkey looked at 160 men, ages 30 to 40 years old, half of whom had erectile dysfunction. Among the impotent men, 53 percent were also found to have inflamed gums, compared with 23 percent in the control group. The average age of men in this study was under 36.
The researchers used the International Index of Erectile Dysfunction, a questionnaire that assesses a patient’s sexual behaviors and function.
After adjusting the findings for weight, age, body mass index, household income, and education level, the researchers found that men with periodontal disease were 3.29 percent more likely to report problems maintaining an erection than those who had healthy gums.
It’s clear to us you’re not healthy unless you’re periodontally healthy.
Chronic periodontitis — inflammation of gums caused by the accumulation of dental plaque — has been linked to cardiovascular disease. Late stages of periodontal disease include swollen and bleeding gums, chronic bad breath, and tooth separation and loss.
Numerous studies and surveys have found men tend to slack off on oral hygiene, visit a dentist less frequently, and are more likely to develop gum disease. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, men are less likely than women to seek preventive dental care for years at a time, and may only visit a dentist when their oral health takes a turn for the worse. One study found that the average man will lose 5.4 teeth by age 72, while men who smoke may lose up to 12 teeth by age 72.
Good hygiene habits are only part of the picture, and not flossing regularly won’t necessarily mean a low success rate in bed. Some people may be more likely to develop dental problems because they are more susceptible to the oral bacteria and genetically disposed gum disease.
Systemic Inflammation From Your Teeth
An ever-growing body research has found oral health greatly influences a person’s overall health, and good oral hygiene can reduce one’s risk for developing numerous chronic health conditions, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and pancreatic cancer. Erectile dysfunction has also been linked to these chronic conditions, as well as low testosterone.
Though researchers say they excluded men from their study who had a history of other serious diseases. Most doctors agree it’s impossible to ignore the relationship.
Gum disease can be a sign of a more systemic disease caused by inflammation. Most struck by the age of the study subjects, since a young patient who reports impotence is greatly at risk for having a cardiovascular event in the next 10 years.
Dentists like Clem pay attention to more than oral health. It used to be the mouth was something separate from the body, but lo and behold! It’s connected. It’s not one disease, it’s a whole host of other diseases. These chronic diseases are not isolated, there’s a connection between all of them.
Faithful brushing can keep bacteria that trigger inflammation at bay, and regular visits to the dentist can detect periodontitis.
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